CCC&TI Foundation Celebrates 30 Years of Dream Program, Names 45 New Scholars

HUDSON, NC (November 6, 2019) — The Foundation of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute had two big reasons to celebrate at Tuesday night’s Dream Award ceremony at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir.

First, the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the innovative program, which ensures free tuition for local students to attend CCC&TI upon graduation from high school. Second, and most importantly, the Foundation introduced its 45 newest Dream Scholars.

Dream Award recipients are selected from among sixth-grade students in Caldwell and Watauga counties. Those selected must be first-generation college students who have demonstrated academic achievement and civic involvement, and who have the potential to succeed. The program, which is funded through private donations to the Foundation, has presented 1,278 awards since its inception in 1989.

CCC&TI President Dr. Mark Poarch opened the ceremony by welcoming scholars, their families and guests. “I’d like to be one of the first to congratulate you on receiving this award. Congratulations to the class of 2025,” Poarch said. He also recognized members of CCC&TI’s Board of Trustees who were in attendance for the event, and thanked other community leaders, including school officials from Caldwell and Watauga counties.

Peg Broyhill, Chairwoman of the CCC&TI Foundation, congratulated the group and recognized her fellow Foundation Board members and CCC&TI administrators as well as various county school officials, local organizations, civic groups, churches and clubs whose contributions help make the program possible.

She gave special thanks for endowments and grants made possible by the Broyhill Family Foundation, the Coffey Foundation, the Granite Falls High School Class of 1963, the Hogan Family Foundation and the Rose and Dwight Church Family. She also recognized Dr. Tony Deal, retired Executive Vice President and Vice President of Student Services at CCC&TI, who introduced the idea of the Dream Award 30 years ago and was in attendance.

“If there was not a Tony Deal, we would not have 1,278 Dream students,” she said. “What an impact he has had on Dreamers, their families and our communities in both Caldwell and Watauga counties.”

Dena Holman, Vice President of Student Services at CCC&TI, provided a history of the program and encouraged recipients to make the most of the opportunity.

“You’re now a part of the CCC&TI family,” Holman said. “We’re here to support you along your path to a college education.”

Holman then introduced guest speaker Monica Sicilia, who received the Dream Award in 2008 while she was a student at Gamewell Middle School. She went on complete degrees at CCC&TI and Appalachian State University. She soon will start a new job at Burke County Department of Social Services as a Child Protective Services Investigator, and more recently has served as a bilingual advocate for the Shelter Home of Caldwell County.

Monica Sicilia, who received a Dream Award in 2008 as a Gamewell Middle School student, speaks to the 2019 Dream Award recipients about her success story at Tuesday’s ceremony at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir. Sicilia offered some advice to her fellow “Dreamers” and explained how the award helped her achieve her goals.

“You have to be a butterfly, you have to spread your wings,” she told the students. “It will open up a lot of opportunities and you can achieve all of the goals you have for yourself.”

The keynote speaker was Chrissie Dixon, founder of Cheer Up and Live!, who offered a message of positivity and making good choices.

To conclude the ceremony, Dream recipients introduced themselves to the audience and shared their career goals. Each received a certificate commemorating their award. A reception for recipients and their families was held following the ceremony.

Pictured are the 2019 Dream Award recipients who participated in Tuesday’s ceremony at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir. The award, presented by the Foundation of CCC&TI, ensures free tuition to attend CCC&TI upon graduation from high school.

2019 Dream Award Recipients

Esther Amaya-Perez, William Lenoir Middle School,
*Dr. Tony Deal Dream Award Recipient

Keowen Arguello, Hardin Park School

Jayden Arnette, Bethel School

Dylan Auton, Kings Creek School

Hunter Auton , Blowing Rock School

Hailey Blevins, Collettsville School

Daisy Chue, Hudson Middle School

Abigail Clarke , Hudson Middle School

Jocelyn Cowick, Happy Valley School

Leyla DeCuesta, Mabel School

Sierra Deiters, Green Valley School

Wyatt Demster, Bethel School

Ryan Dunn, Kings Creek School

Feliciana Escalante, Gamewell Middle School

Daniela Euceda, Gamewell Middle School

Dorthy Farmer, Hudson Middle School

Anahi Gonzalez-Larios, Hardin Park School

Michael Greer , Green Valley School

Zachary Greer, Mabel School

Cameron Hall, Cove Creek School

Lilly Hang, Oak Hill School

Noe Henriquez, William Lenoir Middle School

Ricardo Hernandez, Gamewell Middle School

Madirose Hicks, Valle Crucis School

William Kerrigan, Granite Falls Middle School,
*Debbie Yount Dream Award Recipient

Raelynn Killian, Happy Valley School

Emily Kissinger, Parkway School

Matthew Lebatard, Cove Creek School

Bethany Main , Parkway School

Jazalyn McBride, Kings Creek School

Shannon McNeil, Oak Hill School

Samuel Mitchell, Collettsville School

Larisa Muse, Valle Crucis School

Rayden Neibaur, Bethel School

Sarah Palmer, Happy Valley School,
*Dwight and Rose Church Dream Award Recipient

Jacen Pope, Granite Falls Middle School

Josiah Railey, Hardin Park School

Ackiean Remigo, William Lenoir Middle School

Lily Setzer, Granite Falls Middle School

Rudolph Smith-Hutchinson, Oak Hill School

Shaun Tressler, Blowing Rock School,
*Optimist Club of Boone Dream Award Recipient

Madden Triplett, Collettsville School

Zachary Walker, Gamewell Middle School

Chloe Wilson, Valle Crucis School

Trinity Wise, Kings Creek School