Spartanburg Community College President Henry Giles said he knows exactly the toll unexpected emergencies can take on struggling college students.
He said those unexpected problems that seem to spring from nowhere can sometimes make all the difference between dropping out or finishing strong with a degree in hand.
That s why he said he s fully supporting an ongoing fundraising ride by Dr. Tim Hardee, the president of the South Carolina Technical College System. Hardee is in the midst of pedaling his way across the state, using his vacation time to raise money for college scholarships.
He launched the most recent leg of his journey Friday morning at SCC, pedaling off into the rain toward further stops in Greenville and Anderson. When it s all over, he ll have visited each of the 16 technical colleges in the state s system.
So far, Giles said Hardee has raised some $85,000 in scholarship dollars - the end goal is $160,000 - that will be awarded to the schools. Giles said SCC s share of the funds have been earmarked for emergency grants for Spartanburg Community College students.
Sometimes life just gets in the way of an education, Giles said. We re going to use that money to allow existing students to stay in school if something happens.
Giles said the nature of the technical college system brings together a mix of freshly minted high school graduates with older, nontraditional students looking to jumpstart or retool their careers.