12C STEPA German proverb shares this message: “Our passions are winds that propel our vessel. Our reason is the pilot that steers the vessel. Without winds, the vessel would not move, and without a pilot, she would be lost.” This proverb exemplifies my beliefs and thoughts about former FTCC student Sarah Floroshuma, a C-STEP student who graduated from FTCC in 2015 and will graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in nursing. 

Floroshuma not only performed well academically at FTCC, she also excelled in the nursing program at UNC-Chapel Hill, where she earned the James M. Johnston Scholars Scholarship. 

“Initially, the nursing program and the academic rigor were challenges. However, with the emotional support and encouragement I received, I was able to find the needed strength and determination to use my passion for helping others as my strength,” Floroshuma said. She attributes her ability to care for her sickly grandparents as one of the defining moments that helped her confirm her desire for a career in nursing. 

“After graduating high school in Nigeria at age 16, I took on the role of caretaker for my elderly and sickly grandparents. This experience taught me a lot about inner strength and provided the insight I needed to clarify my career aspirations. I feel that nursing is my calling, and I couldn’t imagine pursuing any other career.”

The Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program (C-STEP), housed in the office of Undergraduate Admissions at UNC-Chapel Hill, seeks to admit, identify, enroll and graduate high-achieving students with low-to-moderate income seeking to transfer to UNC-Chapel Hill from partnering community colleges. The students who participate in this program are inspiring, intelligent, hard-working and dedicated students, and Sarah fits this description perfectly. 

Floroshuma explained the huge impact being a recipient of the James M. Johnston Scholarship has had on her life. “This has allowed me to remain somewhat independent and not burden my father who has deployed over three times in the past two years. Because of the legacy of the scholarship and the Carolina Covenant, I will graduate debt free, and that’s a blessing. I want other students to know how being a part of C-STEP helped me solidify my dreams and career goals and allowed me to spread my wings and grow. And it all began at FTCC,” she said.    

Fayetteville Tech partnered with UNC-Chapel Hill in 2011 to establish this premier program. C-STEP focuses on community college students whose household incomes fall at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, and potential candidates are reviewed holistically.    

The next step in Sarah’s journey will continue to offer her challenge filled with real-world experiences, but through FTCC and UNC-Chapel Hill, she is well positioned on her journey to satisfy her passion, her goals and her dreams.

Learn more about C-STEP at FTCC by reaching out to me, Loutricia Nelson, at nelsonl@faytechcc.edu or (910) 678-8205.

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