BCCC graduate receives award

Published 5:50 pm Saturday, July 21, 2012

Brad Alligood (left) and Bryan Van Gyzen (center) present the first Hunters Helping Kids tool award to Marcus Coward, a 2012 Automotive Systems Technology graduate of Beaufort County Community College. (Submitted photo)

A recent BCCC graduate has received the first award given in memory of a longtime instructor in the school’s automotive technology program.

Marcus Ray Coward of Washington, a 2012 BCCC graduate, received a $1,000 Snap-on gift card from the Pamlico Chapter of Hunters Helping Kids, an organization supported by Neil C. Alligood, who served over 30 years as an instructor in the automotive technology program at BCCC.

The award also came with a $1,000 match from Snap-on, a leading designer and manufacturer of tools and equipment used by professionals in automotive repair and related businesses.

Alligood was an avid outdoorsman and an active member of Hunters Helping Kids from 2009 until his death in 2011.

Hunters Helping Kids is a nonprofit organization established in North Carolina in 2005 with the goal of helping needy children become involved in outdoor activities.

Alligood also served as sponsor of the annual Brian C. Alligood Memorial Youth Hunt, which was established in memory of his son, Brian, who died in 2008.

The Hunters Helping Kids award was recently presented to Coward by Brad Alligood, a son of Neil Alligood, and Bryan Van Gyzen, lead automotive systems technology instructor at BCCC.

As an instructor at BCCC, Alligood was concerned that students complete their course of study instead of simply getting the mechanical knowledge they needed and dropping out of school to go to work. As a result, the donors stipulated that the recipient of the award be a graduate of the college and plan to work in the automotive technology field, according to Brad Alligood.

Coward, 30, of Washington, was a student at North Pitt High School before completing his GED at Beaufort County Community College. He graduated from BCCC in 2012 with an associate degree in automotive systems technology. He is employed by ASMO, a manufacturer of automobile parts, in Greenville. Coward’s wife, Tawanna, is a student in BCCC’s cosmetology program.

“I am blessed to have received this award,” Coward said. “I want to thank Hunters Helping Kids and Snap-on for this.”

Brad Alligood said Hunters Helping Kids plans to present the award annually to a BCCC graduate who plans on a career in the automotive-technology field.