Students awarded scholarships

Published 6:20 pm Saturday, July 14, 2012

Six students from Beaufort County Community College will receive scholarships through the Golden LEAF Scholarship program for the North Carolina Community College System to attend the college.

Those chosen for the award are Pamela Bowen, George Burgess, Alton Council, Buffy Gibbs, Christopher Lynch and Jerry Ross.

Bowen, of Winterville, is a student in BCCC’s practical-nursing program. A graduate of Ayden-Grifton High School, she holds certificates as a medication aide and certified nursing assistant I and II. Bowen is employed at The Golden Living Center as a nursing assistant. She hopes to work as a nurse at the center after completing her studies at BCCC. Bowen has two children and one grandchild.

Burgess, of Washington, is pursuing an associate degree in arts from BCCC. A graduate of Washington High School, Burgess hopes to work at an area hospital after completing his studies at BCCC. He and his wife, Gertrude, have one child.

Council is a graduate of Roanoke High School. He is a student in BCCC’s human services-technology program. He hopes to work with a domestic violence program after graduating from BCCC. Council and his wife, Claudia, live in Plymouth.

Gibbs, of Engelhard, is a graduate of Mattamuskeet High School. She is a student in BCCC’s practical-nursing program. Gibbs holds certifications as a medication aide and a certified nursing assistant I and II. She is employed at Pungo District Hospital as a CNA II. She plans to continue her nursing studies after graduating from BCCC. Gibbs and her husband, Kit, have two children.

Lynch, of Grimesland, is pursuing an electrical engineering-technology degree from BCCC. A graduate of D.H. Conley High School, he hopes to continue his studies and earn a bachelor’s degree after graduating from BCCC.

Ross, of Washington, is pursuing an associate degree from BCCC. A graduate of Southern Durham High School, he hopes to continue his studies at East Carolina University after graduating from BCCC. He and his wife, Beth, have four children.

The Golden LEAF Scholarship program, designed to help North Carolinians attend the state’s community colleges, is funded through a $750,000 grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation, an increase of $250,000 from previous years.

The Golden LEAF Board recognized the challenge North Carolinians face in these tough economic times to attend college to retool and prepare for emerging job opportunities. The additional $250,000 will insure more scholarship funds are available for citizens seeking to enhance their employability skills.

The scholarship can be used for tuition, fees, books, supplies, transportation and childcare expenses related to attending classes during the 2011-12 academic year. Eligible students must demonstrate financial need and reside in rural counties that are tobacco-dependent and/or economically distressed. Scholarships are available for both occupational and curriculum students and are awarded during the fall, spring and summer semesters.

“The Golden LEAF Foundation is proud to have awarded over 4,900 Golden LEAF Scholarships to help North Carolinians attend our state’s community colleges,” said Dan Gerlach, Golden LEAF president. “Our hope is that these scholarships will help build the talent, knowledge and skills of our current and future workforce, especially in the rural areas of our state.”

The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to help transform North Carolina’s economy. The foundation receives one-half of North Carolina’s funds from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers and places special emphasis on assisting tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and/or rural communities across the state.

The Golden LEAF Foundation works in partnership with governmental entities, educational institutions, economic-development organizations and nonprofits to achieve its mission. The foundation has awarded 1,094 grants totaling more than $484 million since its inception.

For more information, about the foundation, visit or telephone 1-888-684-8404.

Students interested in applying for a Golden LEAF Scholarship should contact the BCCC financial aid office at 252-940-6219.