Summer Bridge Program Prepares Students to Enter College

Summer Bridge

July 31, 2014 – Eight Thomasville High School graduates got a head start on what they can expect in college class this fall as participants in the Summer Bridge Program, a partnership between the high school and Davidson County Community College. The college recognized the studentsWednesday at an informal graduation ceremony held in the Mary E. Rittling Conference Center on the DCCC campus.

The bridge program provided participants with increased college knowledge and awareness and credit for the college’s freshman student success course. They will continue their studies at DCCC this fall.

“Today you’re launching into a college student at Davidson County Community College,” said Dr. Mary E. Rittling, DCCC president. “I’m extremely proud of you. I have one desire, that one day you’ll walk across the stage at commencement, and I’ll shake your hand.”

The six-week program was developed to help recent graduates as they make the transition from high school to college. Thomasville High School faculty and counselors identified students they felt would benefit from the pilot program.

Participants attended classes three days a week at the high school where they completed the student success course and received instruction in English, reading and writing. Each Thursday they visited the DCCC campus for enrichment workshops in Career Development, the TRiO Student Support Program, Learning Resource Center and Academic Advising. They also toured the campus and met with faculty and staff from the program areas of their intended majors. 

Joy Miller-Duff and Susan Neeves, instructors for the program, offered encouragement to the students and reassured them they will not be alone as they continue their college careers. 

“This program is a blessing and positive way to start your journey,” Miller-Duff said. “Keep moving and stay positive. Every day is a chance to achieve your dreams.” 

Neeves, who also taught several of the program participants when they were Thomasville Middle School students, expressed appreciation to Thomasville City Schools for believing in their students and “going the extra mile” to provide programs and services needed to help them achieve their goals. 

“You invested in your education, you’ve put in the time and you’ve done the papers and reading. And now, you’ve completed your first college course,” Neeves told the students. “I want you to believe you can do whatever you set your mind to do. Always dream big, work hard and success will find you.”

The participants and their intended areas of study are Jasmine Adrianna Bowden, nursing; Victoria Brea-Deneice Camp, automotive technology; Tyra Kariel Sawyer, cosmetology; Kenia Nicte-Ha Sifuentes, healthcare interpreting; Uniqua T’onna Curry, college transfer; Cedric Austin Green, college transfer; Ka’trena Trinnell Green Baxter, nursing; and Delrwin Pascual, computer integrated technology.

Several students expressed appreciation for the opportunity to participate in the program and be better prepared to enter college this fall.

“I want to thank our instructors for taking the time out this summer to come out and help us,” said Cedric Green. “I learned a lot in this program, but the most important thing I learned was how to manage my time and stay focused on my dreams.”

“The program really has helped me. I think it should have been offered at the high school a long time ago,” said Uniqua Curry. “Thank you for giving me that call.”

Dr. Kim Sepich, vice president, student affairs at DCCC, and John Canty, coordinator, internal controls and special projects, who serves as the liaison between the high school and the college, reminded the students that the resources introduced in the program this summer will be available to them when they return for classes this fall.

“I can’t wait to see you on campus as the first students to enter and complete the Summer Bridge Program,” Sepich said. “You’ll never be alone here at the college.”

The Summer Bridge Program will be offered to Thomasville High students again in 2015 and may be expanded to include students from other school systems in the county.

*Editor’s Note: Thomasville High School Summer Bridge Program participants are, from left, Kenia Nicte-Ha Sifuentes, Ka'trena Trinell Green Baxter, Victoria Brea-Deneice Camp, Uniqua T'onna Curry, Jasmine Adrianna Bowden, Delrwin Pascual, Cedric Austin Green and Tyra Kariel Sawyer.

Founded in 1963, Davidson County Community College is noted for its quality educational programs and services. As one of 58 institutions within the North Carolina Community College System, DCCC offers studies in more than 50 degree programs. A fully-accredited, multi-campus college, DCCC celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013 and is looking forward to serving students in Davidson and Davie counties for many years to come. The college is committed to developing minds, inspiring imaginations, and preparing students for enhanced career and educational opportunities within a changing global environment. Visit Davidson County Community College on the Web at