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Awake58: Finish Line Grants, the budget, and more

This is a copy of the Awake58 newsletter originally sent on Tuesday, September 17, 2019. Click here to subscribe.

Lessons learned from the past year of Finish Line Grants implementation…the budget… Hurricane Florence’s anniversary… A conversation with Forsyth Tech’s new president, Janet Spriggs…

Hi everyone,

Molly, here, taking over for Nation this week as he spends time in Cambridge for the Media Transformation Challenge. He will be back in your inboxes next week.  

I’ve been on the road for the past week, traveling to Charlotte last week for the Presidents’ Academy Symposium and Guilford Tech yesterday for the Finish Line Grants Symposium. Be on the lookout for a piece on the Presidents’ Academy from my colleague Alli Lindenberg and me later this week , and check out the piece on Finish Line Grants here.

You’ve probably heard the news by now, but last week, House Republicans held a surprise vote while many Democratic members were absent and overrode Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the budget by a vote of 55-15. Democrats were incensed, stating they had been told no votes were being held that morning, but Republicans are defending the vote, denying that they said no votes would be held. Republicans just need one Democrat in the Senate to vote with them to fully override the governor’s veto.

Saturday was the anniversary of Hurricane Florence. reporter Rupen Fofaria has been on the road in eastern NC for the last month, documenting ongoing recovery efforts. Follow his coverage here, and read his latest piece on the role schools, both K-12 and community college, play in disaster recovery. 

All about Finish Line Grants

The Finish Line Grants Symposium on Monday brought together community college staff and workforce development boards to share lessons learned in implementing the Finish Line Grants Program. Read my Twitter thread to see highlights from the symposium, and watch these two videos to hear student stories

State Board annual planning session this week

The State Board of Community Colleges will be in Wilmington this week holding their annual planning session as well as their monthly meeting. reporter Alex Granados  will be there, tweeting, writing, and keeping you informed. Follow him on Twitter at @agranadoster

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All the best,


EdNC reads

Finish Line Grants: Lessons learned over the past year

“Our vision was to ensure that no student drops out of training due to a car repair or hospital bill or other financial emergency,” Gov. Cooper said in a video message to attendees at the symposium. “What we’re hearing from students is that this small investment in their future is changing the course of their lives.”

Gov. Cooper on veto override: ‘Republicans waged an assault on our democracy’

“If we can’t trust each other, this place will fall apart,” House minority leader Rep. Darren Jackson said at a press conference Wednesday morning after House Republicans held a surprise vote to override Gov. Cooper’s veto of the budget.

A year after Florence, schools and students work hard at being a ‘hub of humanity’

“We’re the ones that open the shelters to bring people in because we have the space … We’re your avenue to society, period,” said West Craven High School Principal Tabari Wallace in this piece about the role of schools in disaster recovery.

Meet Janet Spriggs, new president of Forsyth Tech

New Forsyth Tech president Janet Spriggs talks about what prepared her for the role, Triad industry partnerships, outreach to high schoolers, and the college’s strategic plan.

Perspective | Developing the education workforce can have big impact

“When we invest in the youngest members of our community, we are investing in our future.” Blue Ridge Community College President Laura Leatherwood makes the case for investing in early childhood education by investing in and training high-quality early childhood teachers.

Other reads

First in Future: President and Board Chair of the John M Belk Endowment MC Belk Pilon

MC Belk Pilon speaks to the John M Belk Endowment’s mission to transform postsecondary educational opportunities and the need for the myFutureNC attainment goal. 

First in Future: President of Central Piedmont Community College Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer

Kandi Deitemeyer explains the role of community colleges in getting people the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.

Welding Won’t Make You Rich

This excerpt from Paul Tough’s new book challenges the narrative that students can get rich in technical trades like welding without taking college classes. The story is centered on a man from Taylorsville, NC who attends Catawba Valley Community College.

Around North Carolina

Perspective | NC’s future is bright, and a localized initiative will lead the way

“Our plan, through input from diverse stakeholders, is to ‘future proof’ our region by strategically aligning educational outcomes with the needs of local employers.” Read how the Land of Sky region is developing an educational attainment pilot project as part of the myFutureNC attainment goal. 

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College offers students emergency financial assistance through Finish Line grants

Read this story from WBTV on how Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is using Finish Line Grants to help students. Two RCCC students are part of EdNC’s Awake58 Fellowship to raise awareness about the grants on their campus.

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Molly Osborne Urquhart

Molly Osborne is the vice president and director of operations for EducationNC.