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While college affordability and increasing tuition rates continue to get headlines across the country, families in Piedmont Technical College’s service area have been taking advantage of one of the best deals in higher education for more than 10 years.
Darlene Saxon, a 2009 PTC graduate, had always wanted to be a teacher. Little did she know how she would accomplish that goal, especially since she didn’t attend college right after high school.
Like many people across the state of South Carolina, Wade Nicholson has had to reinvent himself. He has found the tools for that reinvention at Piedmont Technical College.
Nicholson graduated from Saluda High School and went on to college at the University of South Carolina. College wasn’t what he wanted at the time, so he began working for a large textile manufacturer.
Anita Murphy has discovered that finding your dreams sometimes takes a leap of faith – and a gentle push.
She had obtained her GED after dropping out of high school but she knew she wanted something else. Murphy knew that to go to a four-year college, she would need an associate degree.
Growing up in Kinards, Braden Iusti was surrounded by agriculture. He lived minutes away from several of the state’s largest dairy farms and grew up on a small hog farm.
Lanina Goode has traveled the world, but she has found her dream at home.
The Greenwood native chose to join the military in 2000, enlisting in the Army reserves. Following the attacks on 9/11, she found herself deployed to Kuwait. When she returned to the States in 2003, she started searching for her passion.
“I worked as a substitute teacher for a while,” Goode said. “Then I attended Lander University.”
Kenny Price had his foot in the door with Burnstein von Seelen even before he completed his machine tool technology degree at Piedmont Technical College.
The Abbeville company took Price on as an apprentice in the Tool and Die division, which has now led to a full-time position with the company.
And they’re looking for even more machinists.
As a traveling nurse, Kaylynn Knight’s mother spent much of her time on the road. Through this journey, Knight has had a variety of experiences. She has lived in 14 different cities spread over six states, from California to South Carolina. But it has made her more aware of the need to help others.
“I met this autistic boy who was the sweetest person you could ever meet,” Knight said. “It gave me a passion to help those with special needs.”
While working as a licensed insurance agent, Jennifer Scott always felt as though she was helping people. But she wanted to make a larger difference in people’s lives with her work.
“I was at the point in my life that I was ready to make a change,” she said.
Scott came to PTC and met with a counselor looking for a program that was a fit. She was directed to the Massage Therapy Program and met with Michelle Liggett, program director.
Eddie Brown feels that he’s found his calling in respiratory care. And he loves every minute of it. “When you come to work, you shouldn’t look at it as work,” he said. “Look at it as a career.”
Brown came to Piedmont Tech following a career in juvenile corrections.