JDCC awarded $1.2 million SSS grant

Published 9:42 am Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jefferson Davis Community College has received a $1.277 million federal grant to continue programs that aid students from disadvantaged backgrounds for the next five years.

The U.S. Department of Education grant for the college’s Student Support Services program will fund a comprehensive array of academic support services for low-income, first-generation or disabled college students from 2010 to 2015. The programs serve about 150 students at JDCC each year.

“The work we do with youth at risk makes a huge difference,” JDCC President Susan McBride said last week during a town hall meeting with U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner. “Last year every one of our seniors had plans to go to college. Some have received scholarships to schools like Troy and the University of Alabama. Their families could never have imagined that would be possible.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Laurel Tucker, who is among the more than 1,500 students who have benefitted from SSS in the last decade, transferred to the University of Montevallo last fall after visiting the campus as an SSS participant.

Tucker is currently employed as the lab assistant for the Math Success Center on the Atmore campus of JDCC.

“As a former Student Support Services member I am excited to hear that the grant has been refunded for the next five years,” Tucker said. “SSS was the program that I was most involved in while at JDCC from the fall of 2007 until my graduation in the spring of 2009. The SSS program helped me to meet other students through their workshops and cultural trips.”

Tucker’s mother, Sheila, graduated last year from the R.N. program at JD and was also a member of SSS.

“The SSS staff was always available to help me plan for future semesters and ensure that I was doing well in my current classes,” Tucker said. “I greatly appreciate all that the SSS program was able to provide for me while I was a JDCC student, and I know that the continued funding will be a wonderful investment toward the lives of other JDCC students.”

Federal TRIO programs, which include Upward Bound and Talent Search, were established by the federal government in 1965, to “identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

SSS Director Dr. Beth Billy said that Laurel Tucker and students like her help make the program successful.

“The SSS program is vital to the mission of JDCC, which is helping students realize academic and personal achievement,” Billy said. “With the help of a caring, encouraging and supportive staff, we are pleased to be able to continue to offer educational and cultural opportunities to deserving students for years to come.”