On Wednesday, September 6, the Sampson Community College (SCC) Foundation hosted its annual Scholar-Donor Picnic in honor of its 2023-2024 Foundation scholars and the generous donors behind the scholarship awards.

The evening was sponsored by U.S. Foods and Pizza Inn of Clinton, providing guests with a light fellowship meal.

The SCC Foundation had a great turnout of scholars and donors for the 2023 picnic.

Lisa Turlington, Dean of Advancement and Executive Director of the Foundation, explained about the night, “Every year, this event gives our students the chance to say thank-you first-hand to the people who helped them fund their education and gives our donors a chance to see all of the good work being done here at Sampson Community College.”

Thanks to the continued generosity and support of the Foundation’s faithful sponsors, donors, and partners, over $190,000 was awarded to more than 125 deserving students through 100 different scholarships at SCC for the 2023-2024 academic year.

L.M. Horne (right) pictured with scholar, Brenda Bryant; Foundation Executive Director, Lisa Turlington; and donor, Mary H. Horne.

Many of the donors have long histories with the College, some of whom enrolled or worked at SCC themselves years ago. L.M. Horne, one of the contributors to the L.M. Horne and Elizabeth Bass Horne scholarships, has been able to experience the College from both the student, instructor, and Foundation Board perspective. Through his family’s endowments, Horne hopes to assist students in completing their education at SCC— an institution that has truly become near and dear to his heart.

“We love this institution and what it means to the community and the students here in our community,” Horne voiced. “I actually came here and took some summer school courses when I was in college to get some credits out of the way. Then I came out and taught in the evening division for thirteen years. Now, my family has two endowments: one in the name of my late wife and the other in name of my father. We are very grateful for the work we’re able to do to help students.” 

Dr. Paul Viser and his wife, Diane, pose with their Viser Family Scholarship recipient, Amalia Aguilar.

Similarly, Dr. Paul Viser, contributor to the H. J. Underwood, Viser Family, and Sampson Partners scholarships at SCC, remarked, “I’ve been a part of the Foundation since about 11 years ago. And I’ve always considered this event to be the highlight of the packed calendar of the Foundation. It’s a lot of fun. The donors and just about everyone from the Foundation, by definition, are here. It’s just great to come here and see the students because that’s what it’s all about. All the things we spend time on, work on—it’s all about the students.”

This year, three new Foundation scholarships were also created: The Dominion Energy Promesa Scholarship, Pizza Inn-tegrity Scholarship, and the Westbrook-Tart Nursing Fund Scholarship, gifting over ten students the funds needed to continue their education at the College.

Student Allison Brown was the recipient of the newly established Pizza Inn-tegrity Scholarship.

To apply for scholarships, students are encouraged to complete the Sampson Community College Foundation General Scholarship application by April 15 of each year and maintain a 2.5 GPA. The amount of the scholarship(s) is determined by the Foundation Executive Director based on donor preferences and in accordance with the Foundation lnvestment and Distribution Policies.

In addition to the Foundation General Scholarship, it is also highly recommended that students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) yearly. Note that Career & College Promise (CCP) students are ineligible to apply for financial aid, as their tuition is already reduced.

SCC Student Ambassadors: Cherilyn Williams, Stefany Serrano, Jesus Montes, Armando Avenlino-Ortiz, and Trustee, Larinda Haight. (not pictured Amalia Aguilar)

One of the Foundation scholars this year, Armando Avenlino-Ortiz received the James L. Austin Memorial and SCC Student Ambassador scholarships for 2023-2024. In a quote, he personally remarked on the importance of these awards and how they’ve allowed him to obtain a higher education at SCC— one that wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the Foundation.

“I’m a first-time graduate of high school and the first person to attend college,” Avenlino-Ortiz mentioned. “My parents really can’t afford to send me to a college or university. One of the main reasons I decided to come to SCC was because I knew I could apply for scholarships and grants that could help me pay for school. Without having opportunities like this that will help put me through college, it would have been a lot more difficult.”

Sampson CC congratulates all of its Foundation scholarship recipients for the 2023-2024 academic year and extends its immense gratitude to the generous sponsors, donors, and partners who made the gifting of these awards possible. The Foundation hopes to continue opening various educational opportunities to students.

The SCC Foundation Scholarship Application for the 2024-2025 academic year is currently open. To apply, visit www.sampsoncc.edu/scholarships.

For more information about the SCC Foundation or how to donate to student scholarships, visit www.sampsoncc.edu/foundation

About Sampson Community College:  Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options and early college education. SCC is committed to the principles of equal educational and employment opportunities for all.