Pursuing a GED or other educational opportunities can be extremely challenging in today’s economy.
Students frequently work multiple jobs just to help their families stay afloat.
That’s why Southwestern Community College’s educational opportunities division is establishing the SCC HOPE (Help Others Progress through Education) fund, which will provide financial assistance to students in the college’s service area who are seeking to improve literacy skills while developing career and employability skills.
SCC’s service area includes Jackson, Macon and Swain counties and the Qualla Boundary.
Dean Christopoulos, owner and manager of Kostas restaurant in Dillsboro, has been boosting SCC HOPE’s fundraising efforts by donating 10 percent of sales from Saturday, Dec. 28, and will do so again on Saturday, Jan. 18.
“Our students work hard to change their lives, but they encounter many barriers on their way to this goal,” said Darlene Anderson, SCC’s educational opportunities director. “Through HOPE, we aim to lighten some of that financial burden. The money we raise will help students pay for tuition for occupational courses like Certified Nursing Assistant, Home Companion Aid, Professional Office Management and many others.”
Other ways SCC HOPE will help is by covering the costs of taking the GED and state licensing exams as well as purchasing textbooks and supplies – along with additional student needs that other sources of financial aid do not cover.
“During this season of giving, we hope people will come out to Kostas on one of these Saturdays that Dean is donating a portion of sales to this cause,” Anderson said.