2024-25 PCC Student Ambassadors Participate in Annual Kickoff Luncheon

2024-25 PCC Student Ambassadors group photo.

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College’s newest group of student ambassadors met for the first time last month in preparation for their responsibilities during the 2024-25 academic year.

Of the 10-member group, six are returning for a second year with the ambassadors program and four are newcomers. In exchange for PCC Foundation scholarships covering the cost of full-time in-state tuition and fees, they will perform weekly service hours on campus, assist college staff with recruiting, and help out during Pitt-related events and foundation fundraisers. They must maintain at least a 3.2 GPA and full-time enrollment status.

PCC Events Coordinator Jennifer Hemink says the kickoff meeting was a chance for returning ambassadors to get to know the program’s newest members. Hemink, who serves as an ambassadors advisor, says it’s essential for the students to work as a team when representing the college at events like the Down East Holiday Show and in organizing and conducting community service projects.

“Our returning ambassadors are very excited about serving PCC this upcoming school year, and they were very welcoming to our new ambassadors,” she said. “It can be a little intimidating to come into an already established group, but I think the new ambassadors felt welcomed and accepted. I have no doubt the quiet ones will come out of their shells more as the year goes on.”

Returning for a second year as ambassadors are Amy Rose Arriaga, Alison Beaman, Kaitlyn Dunn, Penelope Rouse, Alexis Satchell and Alexander Williford. Kayla Clifton, Jeff Harris, Kenya Lopez and Tyler Ward are entering their first year with the program. Though the students are similar in age, they represent seven different eastern North Carolina counties: Beaufort, Dare, Edgecombe, Johnston, Lenoir, Pitt and Washington.

A business administration student, Arriaga says she chose PCC coming out of Greenville Christian Academy (GCA) because of its quality programming and opportunities for campus involvement. During her first year as an ambassador, the Kinston resident utilized her bilingual skills to assist with several recruiting initiatives aimed at serving the area’s Spanish-speaking population.

Beaman, a Clayton High School graduate, is seeking an associate degree in office administration. She says she thoroughly enjoyed her first year as an ambassador and looks forward to once again “promoting PCC and all the wonderful resources available” for students.

“All of the staff are extremely supportive — from enrollment services to financial aid to campus police to the library and beyond,” Beaman said. “I want to work for an employer that makes my job as rewarding as being a student ambassador here at PCC.”

A North Pitt graduate from Stokes, Dunn is pursuing an associate in science from PCC with plans to ultimately become a pharmacist. The courses she completes at Pitt will transfer to a four-year institution as she makes her way to pharmacy school, while the personal growth she experiences through the ambassadors program will endure for a lifetime.

“I applied to the Student Ambassador Program because I wanted to learn leadership qualities and step out of my comfort zone to give back to my community and school,” Dunn said.

Rouse, a Kinston resident and South Lenoir High School graduate, is pursuing a career in radiography. She says she joined the ambassadors program to develop leadership skills and discovered she genuinely enjoyed the college’s “family atmosphere.”

Satchell, a Bath native and Beaufort County Early College High School graduate, is majoring in medical sonography. The ambassadors program, she says, has been a way to hone leadership skills while making friends in the process.

“I tend to be pretty introverted, but I knew this opportunity would enhance my communication skills and shape me into the person I want to become,” Satchell said.

A GCA graduate, Williford enjoyed his first year at PCC, saying it’s much like a small university yet still offers students personal attention. The Greenville resident says he appreciates his ambassadors scholarship as he prepares for a career in mechanical engineering and looks forward to representing Pitt in the year ahead.

“It is a good opportunity to put my name out there and represent the school that has done so much for me,” Williford said.

Clifton, a Plymouth resident and graduate of Terra Ceia Christian School, and Harris, who graduated from Unity Christian Academy in his hometown of Chocowinity, plan to enroll in Pitt’s Associate Degree Nursing program. Lopez, an Outer Banks resident and First Flight High School graduate, will major in medical sonography, while Ward, a North East Carolina Preparatory School grad from Tarboro, will take college transfer courses.

Ambassadors are scheduled to meet again in August for several days of leadership training that involves team-building exercises and learning about PCC’s history. They’ll complete a personality style assessment, practice public speaking skills, learn how to lead campus tours, and meet with college administrators, which could include Pitt’s new president should the State Board of Community Colleges select a candidate in time.

Started in 1992, the PCC Student Ambassador program is highly competitive, offering a select group of students each year opportunities for developing social, organizational and leadership skills through service to Pitt and the PCC Foundation. Students must apply for participation, and the 10-12 selected annually receive professional attire to wear during official college events.