Nikita Baggett Graduates from Human Services Technology

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[Clinton, N.C.] – A Spring 2024 graduate of Sampson Community College’s (SCC) Human Services Technology program, Nikita Baggett returned to school at SCC in 2022 to obtain her Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree, upon recommendation from an SCC staff member who, “changed her life.”

Graduating from Midway High School in 2005, Baggett enrolled at SCC in Summer of 2022. That Spring, she had attended a Career Fair on campus and struck up a conversation with Genevieve Merlos-Pulley, Success Coach at SCC, while in line for a food truck.

Mentioning that she was currently “job searching,” Baggett recalled that Merlos-Pulley encouraged her to “take a leap of faith” and return to school at SCC to “pick up a skill”— an idea she had considered but hadn’t pursued yet.

Baggett explained, “Genny asked if I was there [at the Career Fair] with one of the businesses and after I told her I wasn’t, she asked if I ever thought about returning to school. I had thought about it, but I felt too old. But she told me it is never too late! I am thankful she took out time to motivate me and gave me that little push that I needed. If it wasn’t for her, I would not have made the decision to return to school.”

According to Merlos-Pulley, Baggett reconnected with her recently and shared the immense impact she had made on her life. They even had the chance to speak at graduation, with Baggett voicing that she hopes to bring her children to Merlos-Pulley one day, so she can “do they same thing for him, that she did for me.”

“A couple of months ago, Nikita found me again and told me she remembered how I started talking to her at a Career Fair,” Merlos-Pulley described. “We had a tear or two fall out of our eyes while hugging as she thanked me for taking the time to help her change her life. Though I was not a Success Coach yet when I met Nikita, I still wanted to take the opportunity to speak with her. Neither of us ever realized how much we impacted each other’s lives by just taking a few minutes out of our day.”

As she worked towards completing her A.A.S. degree, Baggett also balanced being a mother to four children: two seniors, one middle schooler, and one second grader. She mentioned that she enjoys attending their school functions and sports events, in addition to assisting with the youth at her church. During SCC’s Spring 2023 graduation, Baggett also had the opportunity to serve as a student marshal.

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Baggett received the Outstanding Student Award during graduation, nominated by her instructors out of all the students enrolled in the Human Services Technology program.

When asked who she’d like to thank, Baggett also expressed her gratitude to Katie Butler, Department Chair of Human Services Technology at SCC, in addition to Merlos-Pulley. In her eyes, Butler always “took pride in showing compassion and helping others,” and continued to believe in her throughout the entire program. Finally, Baggett wished to thank her family for their immense support during her time at SCC.

“I’d like to thank my children J’Mauri, Honestee, Harmonee, and Bryce for giving me a reason to keep going,” Baggett said. “I also thank my parents, James and Martha for all of their support and for instilling empathy, compassion, and integrity in me. Last but not least, I’d like to thank God for placing me in the right place at the right time and keeping me covered during this process.”

In Spring 2024, Baggett graduated from Human Services Technology, earning the Outstanding Student Award for the program. Now, she plans to continue on to a four-year institution to obtain both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She hopes to pursue a career in the mental health field, and ultimately, establish her own practice one day.

Though she initially felt nervous about returning to school, Baggett remarked that ultimately, she is so “happy” that she chose to further her education at SCC. To her, the College has taught her the importance of embracing diversity, working towards goals, and the value of networking and interacting with others.

Baggett closed, “I would recommend SCC to anyone interested in furthering their education! Attending SCC has been so worth it, and walking across the stage to receive my associate degree is only the end of one chapter in my life. I look forward to flipping the page to the next chapter of my journey. Thank you, Sampson Community College!”

Sampson CC is very proud of Nikita and her accomplishments. The College admires her determination and perseverance throughout the Human Services Technology program, and looks forward to seeing all she will continue to do throughout her education and in the workforce.

For more information about the Human Services Technology program at SCC, visit

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.