Walker Dixon Receives Academic Excellence Award Scholarship

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[Clinton, N.C.] – As Sampson Community College’s (SCC) Spring 2024 commencement continues to approach, the College looks to highlight graduating Foundation scholars—students who have received one or more scholarships from the SCC Foundation. One of those individuals is Walker Dixon, an Associate of Arts student who recently received the Academic Excellence Award scholarship for 2023-24.

Graduating from Clinton High School in June 2023, Dixon initially began taking classes at SCC in 2021 through the Career & College Promise (CCP) program. Enrolling during his junior year, Dixon was able to complete two semesters worth of college credit in high school, only needing to attend SCC for one-year to earn his associate degree after graduation.

He explained, “While I was in high school, Emily Brown and my family encouraged me to start with SCC through the CCP program. After enrolling, I decided that I should stick with Sampson after graduating high school to save money and stay local. The CCP program was able to help me shave off two semesters worth of college credit. I can now use those years to advance to UNCW and be ahead of the game.”

According to Dixon, his decision to pursue a degree at SCC stemmed from the countless and affordable opportunities it offered. Growing up, he remarked that his older sister had to endure numerous surgeries to correct her chiari malformation. Seeing the financial toll the healthcare system had on his family, Dixon was determined to find a way to pursue a higher education in the cheapest way possible.

“Sampson Community College has proven to be the perfect route for me because it has given me plenty of time to save up my own money,” he voiced. “This will help me immensely as an independent UNCW student and throughout the rest of my life.”

After graduating from CHS, Dixon began applying for scholarships at SCC. In 2023, Dixon received the Academic Excellence Award Scholarship for the entire school year. Created specifically for graduating high school seniors, students are required to yield at least a 3.0 GPA, submit a letter of recommendation, and list of extracurricular activities. One senior from each Sampson County high school is awarded the scholarship each year, to assist them in their full-time academic pursuits at the College.

Dixon voiced about the opportunity, “I felt relieved and grateful when I received the Academic Excellence Award. The money it provided gave me peace of mind. As a senior in high school with tons of future pressure on my plate, this award came as a blessing, and I will forever be thankful for it.”

Some of the graphics/flyers posted around campus and to SCC’s social medias were designed by Dixon, who also serves as a work-study student with the Advancement Dept.

Upon graduating from SCC in Spring 2024, Dixon plans to transfer to UNCW to pursue a B.S. in Film Studies, with hopes of becoming a visual effects movie editor. In addition to his coursework, he also works part-time with ProGrade Cleaning Solutions, serves as a work-study with SCC’s Advancement Department, and assists at Zoar PFWB Church anytime he can.

“Walker has been an important part of our communications team this past year,” remarked Dr. Bill Starling, President of SCC. “His creativity and technical skills are already impressive. After one-year of studies at SCC, Walker will begin his bachelor’s work in film studies at UNCW. For many students, a transition year after high school like Walker’s can be an important part of a long-term academic and career plan. We wish Walker well at UNCW.”

When asked who he’d like to thank, Dixon expressed his gratitude towards his CHS Marketing teacher, Venetia Mann, and his parents. He explained that Mann provided him with “various graphic design opportunities around CHS” and recommended him for the work-study position at the College. To Dixon, his parents also “always believed in me and were a strong, supportive, foundation” in his artistic journey.

However, Dixon especially wanted to extend his gratitude to Brett Feight, Director of Marketing at SCC, who serves as his work-study supervisor through the Advancement Department. Providing him with various opportunities to design flyers, TV ads, and commercials, Dixon has been able to gain experience in the career he loves, even before attending UNCW.

“Brett has helped me greatly in my efforts to grow my digital creativity and the audience my work can reach,” he said. “I have designed many things for marketing while working at Sampson, and it has been a blessing. Brett is never afraid to help me improve my abilities and push me to my full potential.”

Speaking for the entirety of the Advancement Department, Lisa Turlington Dean of Advancement & Executive Director of the Foundation, expressed, “It has been a pleasure working with Walker on the Advancement team this year. I have been impressed with his creativity and skill level in graphic design and videography. We will miss him but wish him well at UNCW! Walker’s professionalism and work ethic will take him far in life.”

As a whole, Dixon expressed that he would definitely recommend SCC to other prospective students because it truly offers numerous opportunities, without having to leave Sampson County. Fearing that a college atmosphere would be “daunting” at first, after his first online class, Dixon discovered that SCC truly was “tight-knit and community driven” with “comprehendible” coursework that helped him earn credits before transferring.

He closed, “I would recommend taking SCC courses because it provides students with a handful of countless opportunities that are local. I have enjoyed my time at SCC because I can get university credit while still living with my family. The classes are straight-forward and easily flexible around my jobs. At SCC, I have learned how rewarding it is to get college courses knocked out while still in high school.”

Sampson CC very proud of Walker for his accomplishments at the College thus far. The Foundation loves seeing the impact scholarships have on students and looks forward to seeing all he will continue to do throughout his education.

The deadline to apply for scholarships each year is April 15. Over 100 opportunities are available with just one application. Apply today at www.sampsoncc.edu/scholarships.

For more information about the SCC Foundation, 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.