The Office of Diversity and Equity at New Hanover County in North Carolina partnered with Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) and McDonald’s to host Gigs for Graduates, an event held on Sunday to help local high school students navigate higher education and the workplace.
“Being willing to connect with us when we reached out to them is huge because it shows that they care about the community, and they care about the people they serve,” said Diversity and Equity Specialist Travis Corpening. “I think that’s huge because you want to show you care about your community and the people that are using your resources,” he added.
The afternoon event at the New Hanover County Public Library allowed high school graduates to meet and talk with representatives about financial aid and applying for college.
CFCC Director of Admissions Jeremy Gibbons expressed the college’s delight in engaging with students and assisting them in making the transition more manageable and less intimidating.
“Sometimes folks can be a little intimidated by how to fill out a free application for federal student aid or a college application, and we are here to make that process as smooth and easy as possible for students,” said Gibbons.
Preparing for College
In response to students’ questions about tuition assistance, CFCC representatives took the opportunity to inform them about the North Carolina Longleaf Commitment Grant.
Under this initiative, eligible high school students receive $700 to $2,800 per year for two years when they attend any of the state’s public community colleges for the incoming fall semester.
Joshua Bullock, 16, attended and found the event to be highly beneficial.
“I learned a lot of things from the man over there at CFCC. He taught me some stuff I didn’t know about my career path, and listening to the people that worked at McDonald’s was also very nice, they – you know, told me about the work and the job, and it was interesting,” said Bullock.
“It’s certainly reassuring to know that there’s stuff out there to know that I can do and I’m capable of being a part of,” he added.