Victoria Robbins

Summer Graduates Hold Family High Among Priorities

October 22, 2020

A family tragedy set Piedmont Technical College (PTC) summer graduate Victoria Robbins on a course toward her degree in human services. The Laurens woman is now an AmeriCorps phenomenon working at the South Carolina Empowerment Center (SCEC). She fills her calendar to the max with personal, professional and volunteer responsibilities executed with love and compassion.

“One of my sisters accidentally overdosed on methadone and died. She had been a longtime addict,” Robbins said. “Drugs and alcohol have run rampant in my family for a long time. … My sister drank while pregnant. That is where my heart bleeds. I got pregnant at age 16. I could never do those things. That is why I try so hard to reach out to teen moms. You can still have a life and have a kid. Is it easy? Not at all, but there are people out there who will help you.”

For two years, Robbins had a job at the state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) working in health care reimbursement. But that job was not fully satisfying. “I wanted to work in some way with youth,” she said. “You shape a generation by reaching out to those kids, so I went back to school.”

In her current role at SCEC in Laurens, Robbins works to provide counseling and resources to teenage mothers and is active in helping middle and high school students with job readiness training, resume writing and interviewing skills. The organization also helps families apply for food stamps, Medicaid and other government benefits, offers financial literacy assistance, free tax preparation services as well as operates a mobile food pantry out of a retired Laurens County Bookmobile converted for that purpose and distributes food boxes to schoolchildren and senior citizens.

“When I came to PTC, I already had a good bit of experience under my belt,” Robbins said. “I knew for sure that I had a network of people there that I could rely on. Most of my background is medical. Coming into the nonprofit sector was kind of new. My instructors were really awesome about answering questions and giving advice.”

New PTC graduate Dillon Morris of Prosperity in Newberry County says he got into the funeral services business by fluke.

“I was a senior in high school and had no idea what I wanted to do after. I took a job helping out with a friend’s dad. I didn’t really know what we would be doing,” he said. “He pulled into a cemetery, and he said, ‘You know I dig graves, right?’ Well, I worked with that fella for about two years. I was a grave-digger for the funeral home where I work now.”

Today, Morris is a funeral director at McSwain-Evans Funeral Home in Newberry. His family has a small farm, where he also helps out.

“When I am not at the funeral home, I do as much as I can around the farm,” he said. “I know that is what my daddy and granddaddy would want.”

The 20-year-old, who describes himself as small-town born and raised, plans to stay in the Newberry area. He appreciates the personal treatment he has received at PTC.

“As many people that go through the college, the professors make you feel like they cater to you personally,” he said. “I still get emails from Mr. Gantt (PTC instructor) checking on my progress and how I am getting along. Piedmont Tech is really catered toward the individual student.”

A full list of PTC spring semester graduates – by county - is attached.

 

PHOTOS:

Victoria Robbins
Dillon Morris

PLEASE NOTE:  PIEDMONT TECHNICAL COLLEGE’S AUGUST 20 GRADUATES AND THEIR AREAS OF STUDY ARE LISTED BELOW

Piedmont Tech shares in the well-deserved pride our graduates feel in their accomplishments. Due to semester and course delivery changes during the Summer 2020 semester, some courses and grades are still being finalized. For that reason, names of students who may not meet graduation requirements may be included. Conversely, names of students who will later meet those requirements after publication may be omitted. We regret any embarrassment or inconvenience these ongoing course completions may cause. An official list of all Summer 2020 graduates will be maintained by the Student Records Office once all courses and grading have been completed.

ABBEVILLE COUNTY

ABBEVILLE – Shyla Mae Brisher, associate in arts; Courtney M. Bullion, diploma in applied science, major in surgical technology; Mary-Marshall Buzhardt, associate in applied science, major in early care and education; Kamarto Jabbar Gray, associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology; Heather Henez, associate in applied science, major in radiologic technology; and Jainitkumar Jigneshkumar Patel, associate in science.

CALHOUN FALLS – Peri McCall Hoskins, diploma in applied science, major in pharmacy technology; Robert Douglas James, associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology; and Skyla Nicole Johnson, diploma in applied science, major in pharmacy technology.   

DONALDS – Melissa Ann Billey, associate in applied science, major in general technology, photography with advertising design concentration; and Lauren M. Strickland, associate in applied science, major in early care and education.

DUE WEST – Breanna N. Brown, associate in applied science, major in business administration, management concentration.

HONEA PATH – Marcus M. Bannister, associate in applied science, major in computer technology, networking concentration; and William Samuel Gilmer, certificate in photography.

AIKEN COUNTY

BEECH ISLAND – Felicia A. Abney, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing.

MONETTA – Tshia T. Brannon, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing.

ANDERSON COUNTY

ANDERSON – Aaliyah Hawthorne, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, legal concentration; and Samantha Long, associate in applied science, major in radiologic technology.

BELTON – Taelor Elisabeth Ellison, associate in applied science, major in radiologic technology.

HONEA PATH – Jessica Tori Beasley, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; Rebecca Gracen Greenway, diploma in applied science, major in surgical technology; Jeffrey B. Lee, associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology; and Jordan Daniel Treadwell, associate in applied science, major in diversified agriculture.

COLLETON COUNTY

WALTERBORO – Anthony M. Taylor Jr., associate in arts.

EDGEFIELD COUNTY

EDGEFIELD – Portia L. Bush, associate in applied science, major in criminal justice; Lakeisha Teiaira Miles, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; and Kylie Lynn Wash, associate in applied science, major in radiologic technology.

NORTH AUGUSTA – Lauren Danier Caines, associate in applied science, major in general technology, surgical technology concentration.

GREENVILLE COUNTY

BELTON – Lauren E. Yates, associate in arts.

GREENVILLE – Lindsey Rebekah Baldree, associate in applied science, major in general technology, photography with advertising design; and Tamika Nelson, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing.

GREENWOOD COUNTY

DONALDS – Alexis D. Busbee, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; and Lauren Amanda Hodges, associate in applied science, major in radiologic technology.

GREENWOOD – Ronald G. Bullman, associate in applied science, major in radiologic technology; Amanda Elizabeth Chagollan, associate in applied science, major in early care and education; Kelly Culbertson, associate in applied science, major in criminal science; Tiffany Shawntel Dorn, diploma in applied science, major in pharmacy technology; Kaitlin Dove, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; Thomas S. Dove, associate in applied science, major in early care and education; Janise Elgin, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; Maria Fernanda Esperanza, associate in arts; Kimberly Rose Fisher, associate in applied science, major in general technology, surgical technology concentration; Elana Nycole Foster, diploma in applied science, major in pharmacy technology; Taylor Dawn Gable, associate in applied science, major in general technology, surgical technology concentration; Elizabeth Gail Hepler, certificate in photography; Nicole Kristen Herbert, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, accounting concentration; Ashley Colson Hester, associate in applied science, major in general technology, surgical technology concentration; Catherine Rebecca Hill, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; Keyshawn Lesamuel Holloway, associate in applied science, major in radiologic technology; Colten Dwight Johns, associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology; Takeria Nicole Jones, associate in applied science, major in business administration; Nicole Lawson, associate in science; Natalie Elizabeth Malloy, associate in applied science, major in general technology, advertising design with photography concentration; Claire Harvey Manuel, associate in applied science, major in general technology, advertising design with photography concentration; Quideshia Tre’Shay McBride, diploma in applied science, major in pharmacy technology; Collin Garrison McCoy, associate in applied science, major in automotive technology; Britney Nicole McGovern, associate in applied science, major in radiologic technology; Osha C. Moore, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, medical concentration; Rossie Mccollum Navey, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, medical coding and billing concentration; Alexis Dawn Norris, associate in applied science, major in general technology, surgical technology concentration; Danielle Denay Pope, associate in applied science, major in machine tool technology; Destiny Reed, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; Tawanda Lavette Reese, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, medical concentration; Kaitlyn R. Rodgers, associate in science; Charlton Taylor Saxon, associate in science; Christopher Parker Shiflet, associate in applied science, major in automotive technology; Kimberly A. Thompson, associate in applied science, major in general technology, pharmacy technology concentration; Vernessia Wideman, associate in arts; Catheryn Patricia Williams, certificate in early childhood development; Latoyah Danielle Williams, diploma in applied science, major in pharmacy technology.

HODGES – Karey Lee Boland, associate in arts; Rodney D. Free, associate in science; Drusonna Andreanna Lewis, associate in applied science, major in criminal justice; and Taylor Mckensi Murdock, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; and Danielle Leigh Yelton, associate in applied science, major in radiologic technology.

NINETY SIX – Bryan Craig Maddox Jr., associate in applied science, major in electronic engineering technology; Isabella Carranza Medlock, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; Amber Hope Owens, diploma in applied science, major in pharmacy technology; and Bridget Montrelle Porter, associate in applied science, major in general technology, pharmacy technology concentration.

LAURENS COUNTY

CLINTON – Ryan Christopher English, associate in applied science, major in radiologic technology; Mariah Janea Moore, associate in applied science, major in computer technology, cybersecurity concentration; Jose Raziel Morales Hernandez, associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology; Sparkle D. Shell, certificate in office technician; Roul L. Thacker, associate in applied science, major in human services; Amber-Gayle Mackenzie Thompson, associate in applied science, major in radiologic technology; and John P. Wicker II, associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology.

CROSS HILL – Joshua Eric Hughes, associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology.

GRAY COURT – Katelyn Danielle Harkcom, associate in applied science, major in radiologic technology; and Lauren Margaret Lynn Kelly, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing.

KINARDS – Kayla Leanna Lawson, associate in applied science, major in business administration, office management concentration.

LAURENS – Victoria Faith Crane, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; Reneka Zoe Foggie, associate in applied science, major in business administration, accounting concentration; Jessica G. Holbert, associate in applied science, major in business administration, office management concentration; Bryson Daniel Landrith, associate in applied science, major in automotive technology; Christopher Miller Jr., associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology; Victoria K. Robbins, associate in applied science, major in human services; William G. Simmons, associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology; Gaspar Andres Tomas, associate in arts; and Stephanie M. Williams, diploma in applied science, major in surgical technology.

WARE SHOALS – James Cameron Balentine, associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology; Mary Bunting, diploma in applied science, major in pharmacy technology; Karli Alexis Chastain, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; Carleigh Elaine Fields, associate in applied science, major in heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology; and Patrick Michael Witt, associate in applied science, major in automotive technology.

WATERLOO – Cheryl Anne Perry, associate in applied science, major in business administration.

LEXINGTON COUNTY

CAYCE – Keith Terrel Moore, associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology.

CHAPIN – Krysten Carver Smallwood, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing.

GILBERT – Jessica Lee Buck, associate in arts; Heather Nikole Hopkins, diploma in applied science, major in surgical technology; and Elizabeth G. Temple, associate in science.

LITTLE MOUNTAIN – Eileen Mayers Wright, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, accounting concentration.

McCORMICK COUNTY

McCORMICK – Rajine Cunningham, associate in science; Laquanda Q. Drennon, associate in science; and Charity H. Zellars, associate in applied science, major in early care and education.

NEWBERRY COUNTY

NEWBERRY –  Khalia Nicole Abrams, associate in applied science, major in computer technology, cybersecurity concentration; Margaret Ivette Carbajal, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, medical coding and billing concentration; Wanda Antonita Davis, associate in applied science, major in general technology, pharmacy technology concentration; Jose Manuel Hernandez, associate in applied science, major in business administration; Tishauna Shavonique Leverett, diploma in applied science, major in pharmacy technology; and Elizabeth Sickelbaugh, associate in arts.   

PEAK – Elizabeth Gayle Holmes, associate in applied science, major in human services.

PROSPERITY – Amber L. Boatwright, associate in applied science, major in early care and education; Madison Chapman, diploma in applied science, major in surgical technology; Tiffany L. Goodman, associate in applied science, major in general technology, surgical technology; and Tammy Long Wilson, associate in applied science, major in business administration.

WHITMIRE – Tammy Denise Brown, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing.

OCONEE COUNTY

WALHALLA – Katherine A. Clayton, associate in applied science, major in business administration, management concentration.

RICHLAND COUNTY

COLUMBIA – Beontae Tashon Holmes, associate in applied science, major in criminal justice.

SALUDA COUNTY

SALUDA – Erica Tess Pratt, associate in applied science, major in business administration; Anakaren Robles, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; Mckenzie Dawn Wertz, associate in arts.

SPARTANBURG COUNTY

ENOREE – Ashley N. Conyers, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing.

UNION COUNTY

JONESVILLE – Stefanie Teague Blanton, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing.

OUT OF STATE

EVANS, Ga. – Laura Makenzie Northcraft, associate in applied science, major in radiologic technology.

 

 

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