The Golden LEAF Scholars Program recently awarded scholarships to four Haywood Community College students. The recipients are Lorena Gamez, Greg Glenn, Jennifer Moody, and Hope Smathers.

Students will use the funds for tuition, books, fees, credential testing, childcare services, and transportation necessary to fulfill their student educational requirements.   

Lorena Gamez will finish the Early Childhood program in December. She then plans to continue at HCC to take college transfer classes. She will pursue a Bachelor’s degree in education at East Carolina University.

Gamez is the mother of two sons, ages 4 and 7, and works full-time as a tutor for Haywood County Schools. “I have a passion for working with children,” she explains. “The more I learn about the development process of children, the more this passion has grown for me to become a teacher.”

Greg Glenn will finish the Networking Technology program in December and is also enrolled in the Computer Information Technology program.

“This scholarship will help a lot,” Glenn says. “The little things you need for classes add up. I am truly grateful to get this scholarship.”

Glenn was a combat engineer in the Army. He was injured when jumping from a plane and his parachute didn’t open fully. After the Army, he worked for more than 20 years with the National Park Service. After getting custody of his two girls, he moved to the area to be close to family.

“I was tired of barely living on disability retirement so I decided to look for something I could come to school for that would work with my injury.”

He says the program is challenging but the pay will be worth it. “The field of computers is here to stay. After finishing both degrees, I would like to get some experience in the field and eventually start my own business.” 

When Jennifer Moody got laid off from her job in landscape installation and design, she decided to come to HCC for a new career. She is in the Nursing program and is about to start a job at Mission as a CNA.

“The nursing program is excellent but it is demanding,” Moody says. “I now spend a lot of time doing homework with my daughter. I want to be a positive role model for her.”

Moody would like to continue her education to get a Bachelor’s degree.

Like Moody, HCC Healthcare Business Informatics student Hope Smathers came to the college for a new career. She received a Medical Office Administration degree from HCC in May 2014 but wanted to make herself more marketable by adding another degree.   

At HCC, Smathers is very active. She worked as a tutor, was a member of the HBI/MOA Club, and has work in various departments as a work study. “Being involved means I am getting experience and making contacts,” she explains.

After finishing HCC, Smathers would like to put the knowledge she has learned back into the community while making her life better.

“I feel privileged to be selected for this scholarship. I realize a lot of students wanted to be considered and I appreciate receiving it.”

For more information about this or other scholarships available at HCC, please call828-565-4170.