[Clinton, N.C.]–  The Sampson Summer Bridge Program (2SB), a transformative initiative funded by a three-year grant from Dominion Energy and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), recently provided its students with an enriching on-campus experience. This program, dedicated to bridging the gap for underrepresented high school students seeking higher education in Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) courses, culminated in a week-long immersion in renewable energy, personal enrichment, and professional development.

SCC has just over 100 local high school students participating in 2SB, with around 35 of them taking part in on-campus experiences. These activities ranged from field trips to professional development sessions, providing students with a comprehensive and immersive learning experience.

During their week on campus, students had the unique opportunity to delve into various topics under the guidance of guest speakers and SCC staff members. This hands-on experience allowed them to explore and develop their STEM and academic interests, fostering a deeper understanding of potential career paths in the energy industry and higher education opportunities.

2SB students were able to tour an active solar farm in Sampson County.

A highlight of the week was a field trip to a nearby solar farm, where students gained firsthand insight into renewable energy production and sustainable practices. This excursion not only complemented their academic studies but also underscored the importance of clean energy solutions in today’s world.

Eric Falcón from HACU and Latasha Corprew from Dominion Energy also spoke with the students, discussing scholarships and opportunities in the energy field. They addressed important topics such as imposter syndrome and DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging), providing valuable insights and encouraging students to pursue their goals with confidence. Additionally, Bianca Smith gave a presentation on visual branding, helping students understand the importance of personal image in their professional journeys.

“Thanks to the partnership of HACU and Dominion Energy through the Building Hispanic Talent Initiative, our team at SCC facilitated a truly impactful week of programming for our dual-enrolled high school students. Combining classroom learning with career exploration and professional development had a major impact. I am honored to work with such a promising group of students representing the next generation of leaders,” said Emily Ko, Director of Academic Services.

2SB Students engage with Eric Falcó, HACU Representative, during an engaging educational session.

Alongside the on-campus experiences, the grant offers students the chance to earn college credit while exploring various STEM courses at SCC. These include, but are not limited to, trade classes in renewable energy and construction, business technology courses in accounting, business law, entrepreneurship, and information technology, as well as general education courses like biology, chemistry, statistical methods, and precalculus. This diverse curriculum helps students build a strong academic foundation and prepares them for future success in both education and their careers.

“We are deeply appreciative of the investment Dominion Energy has made in SCC,” said Lisa Turlington, Dean of Advancement. “In addition to the 3-year grant for the Summer Bridge Program, Dominion Energy supports our students with the Promesa Scholarships. Our affiliation with HACU has also afforded our students access to additional resources, significantly enhancing their educational opportunities and experiences. These partnerships are particularly valuable as we continue to grow and thrive as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI).”

The 2SB program, supported by Dominion Energy and HACU, highlights the commitment to empowering the next generation of leaders by providing educational opportunities and resources. As the program continues to grow, it remains dedicated to making a lasting impact on the lives of its students.

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.