Collins Career scholarships offer continuing education opportunities for students

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 2, 2015

IRONTON — Six local students are on their way to continuing their education thanks to scholarships recently awarded by Collins Career Technical Center. The scholarships are a way to insure that Collins graduates can continue their education without worrying about their finances.

“We don’t want economic reasons to be the reason you can’t fulfill your dream,” said Tommi Lynne Blankenship, director of student services and counselor at Collins Career and Technical Center. “These were our special scholarships.”

The scholarships were offered directly through CCTC and CCTC staff selected the recipients.

“As we have grown, we have recognized a desire to offer more scholarships,” said Blankenship. “We’re trying to do things that promote secondary education.”

Blankenship believes that the scholarships are a way to help recipients fulfill their personal and career goals.

“To me…it’s about giving them a nudge,” said Blankenship.

The students who received the scholarships set themselves apart as highly dedicated to their education and their careers and represented CCTC well, said Blankenship. Each of the scholarship recipients was part of Collins’ student learner program, that aims to offer students a chance to work while also pursuing their education.

“Our goal is to teach them to go out into the community and be employable,” said Blankenship. “We want them to be the best employees.”

Scholarship recipients have already selected colleges where they plan to build upon the education they received while at Collins. Blankenship said the center’s staff wanted the scholarship recipients to continue their education at schools that would be a good fit for them.

“What our dream for the students is for them to be as successful as they can dream,” said Blankenship.

By offering scholarships, the center hopes to have an impact upon the community by helping students become employees who have the training and skills they need to work for local businesses.

“Our hope at Collins is to see the students…come back to the community and be leaders in our community,” said Blankenship.

Blankenship believes that offering the scholarships to graduates is a way to insure that graduates can become leaders.

Scholarship recipient Samantha Robinson believes that attending CCTC prepared her to continue her college education by pursuing a degree in theater from Berea College.

“Going to Collins, I was treated like an adult,” said Robinson. “Because I went to Collins, I know so much more.”

When Robinson heard that CCTC had awarded her a scholarship, she was surprised.

“It’s a blessing,” said Robinson. “I’m so thankful.”

Recipients of Collins Career Center scholarships are Madison Sudlow, Megan Gumbert, Leanna Sharp, Katelyn Hall, Shannon Ackison, and Samantha Robinson.