Students Celebrate Community College Day at the General Assembly

Published: May 5, 2015

jccstudentsandjhlangdonSGA leaders share real-life student stories.

Students from community colleges across North Carolina visited the General Assembly April 28 to voice their support for raising instructor pay, funding community colleges for year-round instruction and maintaining affordable tuition rates.

"The affordability, the quality and the accessibility offered to me during my community college experience paved the way for my success," says La'Quon Rogers, a student at Pitt Community College in Greenville and President of the North Carolina Community College Comprehensive Student Government Association (N4CSGA). "Instructors go above and beyond to ensure that their students have everything they need to enter the workforce or transfer to a university."

"JCC gives students opportunities to gain an excellent education at a lower cost than universities," says Shenan Higgins, SGA vice president. "We are taught by instructors who have a passion for what they do and want to see us succeed. They are the foundation of student success and without them JCC would not be the institution that it is today."

Students Shenan Lee Higgins, Mario Hobbs, Sherry Rawlings, and Shenika Thorb from Johnston Community College attended Community College Day with JCC President David Johnson and Derrick Arnold, coordinator of student engagement and athletics. During the visit, students had the opportunity to meet with their district's legislators, attend a meeting of the N.C. House's Education – Community Colleges Committee and be formally recognized by both chambers. The JCC students met with Rep. William Brisson; Rep. Leo Daughtry; Rep. James Langdon and Sen. Ronald Rabin.

N4CSGA representatives also presented a petition with more than 1,000 student signatures, 136 from JCC, to the leadership of the General Assembly, symbolizing the broad student support for the budget priorities related to tuition rates and instructor pay.

"This visit allowed our student leaders to be a part of the state budget process and share with our Johnston County legislators the real value of community colleges," said David Johnson, JCC president. "I am so proud of the real-life experiences they shared and the manner in which they articulated the needs of the community colleges with our elected officials."

The N4CSGA is a student-led organization that represents all student government organizations within the North Carolina Community College System.

Cut line: Derrick Arnold, coordinator or student engagement and athletics; Sherry Rawlings, JCC SGA public information officer; Mario Hobbs, JCC SGA treasurer; Shenan Lee Higgins, JCC SGA vice president; and Shenika Thorb, JCC SGA secretary; are pictured with N.C. Rep. J.H. Langdon.