Courtesy of SKCTC

Southeast students from Bell, Harlan and Letcher counties join President Vic Adams to discuss a better life.

SKCTC promotes better lives for a better Ky.

On Nov. 10, SKCTC President Dr. Vic Adams joined Southeast students for a Facebook Live discussion as part of the Better Lives for a Better Kentucky tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Kentucky Community & Technical College System. Twenty students from each of the college’s five campuses gave their view of a “better life” and discussed the college’s role in achieving it.

Middlesboro student Vanessa Miller shared her personal success story. After relocating from Ewing, Virginia to Middlesboro, Miller enrolled in the Adult Basic Education program at the college to prepare for the GED. After passing in only three months, Miller enrolled in her first college classes as well as the Ready to Work program.

Ready to Work helps single mothers who qualify for the Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program (K-TAP) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The program gave her a job at the campus bookstore and helps with transportation — fuel costs and vehicle maintenance. Additional services through the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) provides daycare for Miller’s three-year old daughter Emma. Says Miller, “Southeast has meant everything to me. The people here and the support I’ve had since I came here, I couldn’t have done this on my own.”

Students listed various reasons for choosing their programs at Southeast, including job security, flexibility, and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. One message, however, remained constant. Education major Tyler Givens says, “It’s the support system here. It extends way beyond the classroom.”

Those who participated in the discussion represented the wide array of programs the college offers, including allied health, business, and technical programs. No matter a student’s goals, says President Adams, Southeast serves as a “beacon of hope” for the region. “We have to make sure we stay relevant and prepare students for that next step, whether it be a job or a degree at a four-year institution.”