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Students honored for their accomplishments in CCCC's MADE/WADE program

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Click to enlarge,  Student Ryan Wright introduces the keynote speaker at CCCC's MADE/WADE Recognition Ceremony held Monday, May 11.

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Student Ryan Wright introduces the keynote speaker at CCCC's MADE/WADE Recognition Ceremony held Monday, ... (more)

Click to enlarge,  U.S. Army Lt. Col. Maurice McDougald was the featured speaker at Central Carolina Community College's MADE/WADE program on May 11, at the Dennis Wicker Civic Center in Sanford.

click image to enlarge ⊗

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Maurice McDougald was the featured speaker at Central Carolina Community College's ... (more)

05.21.2015College & CommunityCollege General

SANFORD -- The sense of pride and accomplishment was unmistakable as members of Central Carolina Community College's Men and Women of Academic Distinction and Excellence (MADE/WADE) were recently honored at a special ceremony at the Dennis Wicker Civic Center in Sanford.

Funded by a grant from the North Carolina Community College System's Minority Male Mentoring program, the MADE/WADE program operates under the Division of Student Learning and was created to increase retention and transfer rates of minority students to four-year colleges and universities. The program provides early intervention, guided mentoring, service learning opportunities, acquisition and development of new skills, and access to cultural, educational, and community resources.

Jeffrey Ambrister, of Pittsboro, who is studying to be a paralegal and currently maintains a 3.5 grade point average, said MADE/WADE has really benefited him as a student. Legally blind, Ambrister said the program helped him access resources such as a special transcriber and note taker who helped him with his studies. "The outreach, tutoring, and mentoring I received really helped me succeed," said Ambrister. "Now, I feel like I can go anywhere and do well."

Student Ryan Wright, of Angier, commented on the camaraderie and support the program instills. "The leadership and guidance you receive in this program made me believe in me," Wright said. "It empowered me and encouraged me. MADE/WADE is more than just an academic program -- it is a brother and sisterhood." Wright, who is majoring in broadcasting, expects to graduate in 2016.

Faith Holmes, of Sanford, said the program not only gave her guidance in writing academic papers, but the supportive environment actually helped her stay in school.

"This isn't just an organization," said Academic Assistance Coordinator Talia Friday. "It is a family made up of members who are very hardworking and dedicated."

Keynote speaker was U.S. Army Lt. Col. Maurice McDougald, who served as chief supervisor of Homeland Security at Fort Monroe, Va. No matter what the hardship, it can be overcome, he insisted.

"The world's greatest lie is that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control over what happens to us. Yes, we do have challenges along the way, but we also have opportunities to guide us into making the right decisions for our lives. Education is probably the most critical of these opportunities," he said.

"We have no choice as to the gender, race, or family we're born into, but we can control the paths our lives will take by putting positive thoughts into our minds," McDougald said. "The importance of what you've just done in this program allows you to take the steps to success and to help mentor others. You won't be the same person after you've progressed through this program. You'll gain wisdom, and when you find struggle in your life, you'll continue to reach for your goals."

CCCC's Kako Covington, Diversity Leadership & Mentoring Coach for the MADE/WADE program, ACA and Human Resources Development Department instructor, said the program focuses on developing well-rounded students in all areas of academic excellence.

"We cover academics, outreach, study skills and the student's personal investment in education as a means to help students succeed and ensure retention," Covington said.

"We work closely with instructors and community leaders to maximize student achievement in everything from completion and accuracy of assignments to involvement in the community."

The MADE/WADE program requires students to complete all assignments and obtain verification of their completion from instructors. Students must meet with peer mentors and utilize the resources MADE/WADE makes available to them.

Students are also required to attend weekly workshops focusing on skills and abilities they will need to reach their educational and professional goals. In addition, they must participate in community projects that not only help them realize the value of an education, but the numerous opportunities it affords them. Through peer and instructor reinforcement, the program provides encouragement and support for students as they work toward their college degree or certification.

"I've learned since I've been here that everyone is not the same," Covington said to the students. "Together you are amazing. I've seen you come together and become a family. You're not always going to have perfect instructors or the perfect plan. It is what you do that is going to help you overcome obstacles."

For more information about the MADE/WADE program at CCCC, contact Kako Covington at 919-718-7485 or 919-718-7378 or e-mail her at

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