Student Ambassador Program
The BCC students serving as Student Ambassadors are pursuing a variety of degree programs and career goals. Their time outside of the classroom is filled with extracurricular interests ranging from playing for BCC Athletics and singing in church choirs to disc golfing and establishing new clubs on campus. Our Student Ambassadors are employees of local businesses, aspiring musicians, loving parents, as well as dedicated BCC students. They are a microcosm of the great determination, creativity, and diversity of our entire student body.
Student Ambassador and Scholar Spotlights
It takes only a few minutes with BCC Nursing student Terissa Jordan to be sure she has chosen the right profession and be grateful for it, too. Terissa is finishing her final semester at BCC before taking the NCLEX-RN exam and achieving her dream of becoming a registered nurse.
“This has been quite a journey,” said Terissa. “I was accepted into the program once before but had to withdraw. I struggled in school for the first time ever, so I decided to take a break and try again.” Terissa explained that because of the time that passed, she had to start all over, beginning with the application process. “I was accepted at three schools but chose to return to BCC, even though I live in Pender County,” said Terissa. “BCC’s program is modern and up to date. The facilities are top-notch, as are the instructors. Even though I had to withdraw on my first attempt, they believed in me. That meant a lot.”
Terissa is now in the homestretch and excelling in every way. To help with tuition costs, she secured a spot in the work-study program. She also received a scholarship from the Foundation and became a Student Ambassador. Terissa works at New Hanover Hospital as a Nurse Aide.
“I’m on my way and not ready to stop anytime soon,” said Terissa. “I want my two children to know that if they want something, they need to go for it, regardless of the hurdles they may need to overcome.” After graduating from BCC, Terissa plans to pursue her Bachelor’s Degree at UNCW and then continue to earn her Masters.
In the meantime, she is enjoying her role as an ambassador. “I’ve never been a very social person,” she said. “Being an ambassador has given me the confidence to open up and get out there. I’m learning a lot and enjoy representing BCC. That’s something I plan to do way beyond nursing school. I will be back.”
We look forward to that, Terissa!
Student Ambassador Dimitry Williamson is driven to succeed and credits his dad for constantly pushing him to go after what he wants and do his best.
Dimitry is an Iowa native and from a farming family. He moved to North Carolina when he was six. Dimitry attended South Brunswick High School and admits he was a bit of a procrastinator when applying to colleges.
“My mom and dad live in two different households, but we’re all close,” said Dimitry, who has an older sister and younger brother. “I decided to stay near home for college, at least to start. In high school, I took Advanced Placement (AP) courses and participated in Career and College Promise (CCP), which introduced me to BCC. I enjoyed my courses here and realized that starting college at BCC was an excellent option.”
While Dimitry is in his first year at BCC, he expects to graduate with his Associate in Science degree in the summer of 2024. “I was able to get ahead because of the AP courses and CCP program,” said Dimitry. The extra work is paying off now.” Dimitry was encouraged to apply as a Student Ambassador when working with his BCC Success Coach, Tyler Horvath. “I decided to try it and got an interview,” said Dimitry. “I was at work when I received the email message that I was selected. It was exciting, and I’m enjoying it a lot. I especially like attending and speaking at events and meeting new people.”
Dimitry also applied for and received a scholarship through the Foundation of BCC. “My parents are both teachers, and we come from a farming background, so I knew getting a scholarship wouldbe a huge help.” Dimitry is among over 200 students who received scholarships through the Foundation this year. In addition to attending school, Dimitry works part-time as a dock hand on Bald Head Island.
After graduating from BCC, Dimitry plans to continue his education and earn a Bachelor’s and Doctorate in Psychology. We believe in him and know he will achieve whatever he sets out to do. Good luck, and thank you, Dimitry!
Student Ambassador Cam Williams was still figuring out where he would attend college this time last year. His dream was to find a school where he could work toward his degree and play baseball, but unexpected injuries and challenges at home were making it tough to achieve. The one thing he was sure of was that he would not give up.
With support from his mom, friends, teammates, and coaches, Cam kept working hard, doing well in school, and trusting that his opportunity would come. And come it did. Through former teammates and coaches, Cam connected with Dolphins Baseball Coach Robbie Allen at BCC.
“Coach Allen called me and asked if I’d like to meet the team and learn more about BCC,” said Cam. “I made an official visit last June, and here I am.” Nearly halfway through his first year at BCC, Cam is warming up his pitching arm and doing well academically. He is pursuing his Associate Degree in Arts & Sciences and plans to continue college for his Bachelor’s and Masters degrees in Psychology.
Cam also serves as a Student Ambassador. “I wasn’t sure what an Ambassador did, but Coach encouraged me to interview, so I did,” said Cam. “I’ve been part of a non-profit organization supporting my friend’s dad, a former baseball player who died of cancer a few years ago. I like giving back, and when I got the offer to be part of the Student Ambassadors, I decided to join.”
Cam immediately stepped up to the plate and volunteered to speak at the recent Donor Appreciation Luncheon. “Cam was nervous and struggling with his tie and name tag just before taking the stage,” said Foundation Executive Director Teresa Nelson. “You’d never know it because he wowed the crowd. Cam is the real deal. He’s authentic, cares about others, is determined to succeed, and is unafraid of working hard for what he wants. We are thrilled to have him as an Ambassador.”
We invite you to cheer him on this season as he takes the field as a Dolphin. Go, Cam!
After nine years serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, BCC student Andrew Burgmuller found himself on the BCC campus for orientation after enrolling in his first college classes. Also present were two BCC employees and veteran mentors who approached Andrew, offering help and guidance. Like Andrew, they understood how it felt transitioning from the military to civilian life and wanted him to know that he wasn’t alone.
Two years later, Andrew has stepped into their shoes, helping student veterans succeed in every way possible at BCC and beyond. “There are so many resources for veterans at BCC,” said Andrew. “I had no idea about them until I arrived on campus. I was familiar with the GI Bill but soon learned that much more is available. I’m grateful for the help I received and enjoy paying it forward to those who come after me.”
While beginning college in your thirties might intimidate some, Andrew dove right in and hasn’t looked back. He took advantage of resources like free tutoring and, before long, became a tutor himself. He applied for scholarships created for student veterans and received several awards. Andrew also applied for the federal work-study program and is now employed part-time at BCC in The Learning Center (TLC) while he attends school.
“The Foundation is a wonderful resource run by people who care, ” Andrew said. “I’ve been fortunate to benefit from scholarships funded by organizations like the Committee to Honor America’s Veterans and Calabash Elks Lodge. It’s humbling to see people who have given so much of themselves as part of the military still giving to the next generation. They make me want to do the same. There’s nothing quite like helping a student who enters TLC with an ashen face leave with a smile.”
Student veterans can find Andrew in TLC or contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Ambassador Miley Ritchie is one to watch. This first-year student arrived at BCC after graduating from West Brunswick High School, where she started her sophomore year.
If there’s one thing this young woman knows how to handle, it’s change. While she lives in Calabash, NC, Miley moved from Kentucky to North Carolina and back again before nally landing home. “I love living in Calabash, but all the back and forth wasn’t easy,” said Miley. “It was hard to make friends, and kids aren’t always nice to the new girl, so I had to find my way. For me, senior year in high school was when everything came together. I rocked it. I stopped being afraid and started figuring out me, who I wanted to be, and to help my younger sister do the same.”
Miley joined the Cross Country team and made it to regionals. Academically, she soared. Miley gained confidence and made friends. After graduation, she found herself at BCC. “After so many moves, I wanted to stay put at least for my rst two years of college,” she said. “Plus, BCC is fantastic and has everything I need and more. The academic programs and support are excellent. Everyone is so welcoming, and the campus is a fun place to be. You can feel the school spirit, and I couldn’t be happier.”
After meeting several faculty and staff members, Miley was encouraged to apply to become an Ambassador. She is as enthusiastic and genuine as they come and aced her interview. Miley looks forward to meeting new people and getting involved on campus. She hopes to get lots of practice speaking in public and is ready for whatever challenges come her way.
Andrew Jackson exemplifies what’s possible when a student takes advantage of all that BCC offers. He is an excellent student and public speaker and serves as an ambassador and member of the Student Government Association. Andrew is among the first to volunteer when help is needed and is incredibly proud to have met North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.
Andrew is also the first student to graduate as part of the new NC State University Community College Collaboration (C3) program with BCC. C3 is a dual-admission program for high-achieving community college students who plan to continue their education at NC State after completing their associate degree. This fall, Andrew plans to do just that as he pursues his bachelor’s degree in Political Science.
Student Ambassador Lucas Merriam arrived at BCC last year having already earned two Bachelor’s degrees, one in Parks & Recreation Management and another in the German Language. His return to college was as surprising to him as it may seem to us. “After earning my degrees at ECU, I thought school was behind me,” said Lucas. “I was ready to find a job and have a wonderful life.”
As is the case for so many of us so often, things turned out differently than he planned. That’s okay, though, because what’s ahead for Lucas will be even better and get him closer to achieving his goal of making a difference in the world.
“I’ve always wanted to be a Park Ranger,” said Lucas. “I love the outdoors and want to help restore ecosystems. After working in my field for a few years, I felt stuck and unable to do what I was most passionate about. At the proverbial fork in the road, I took the one that led me home to Ocean Isle Beach and eventually to BCC.”
Today, Lucas is thriving. He is pursuing an Associate degree in Engineering and plans to transfer to North Carolina State University in the fall of 2024 to complete his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. He works as a Math and Science tutor in BCC’s The Learning Center and serves as a Student Ambassador.
“I’m on the right path now, and I look forward to making a difference in the world by living my passion for nature and the environment,” said Lucas. “I’m loving my time at BCC and grateful for the support all around me, especially from the Foundation. The scholarships I’ve received are making my dream a reality. Being an Ambassador is my way of giving back, saying thank you, and inspiring others to find their way.”