SGTC Crisp County Center celebrates Black History Month
Two outstanding African American individuals with strong ties to South Georgia Technical College were selected to be the keynote speakers at the South Georgia Technical College Crisp County Center’s first Black History Month program held in the LaPorte Auditorium in Cordele recently.
Bambie Hayes, Executive Director of the Crisp Area Habitat for Humanity office, and Dravian McGill, Sr., Regional Finance Director for DCMS, Inc., were selected to be the keynote speakers.
Hayes is a 1993 graduate of Crisp County High School and a 1998 honor graduate of South Georgia Technical College. She continued her education after graduation from South Georgia Tech and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management, completed graduate studies in Business Administration and Secondary Education and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Organizational Leadership. She is very active in her community and is the mother of three, Nylea, Calondrius, Jr., and David. Two of her children, Nylea and Calondrius, Jr. also attended South Georgia Technical College.
McGill received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting and Management in 1990 from Knoxville College in Knoxville, TN. He later earned a Masters of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. He has been the Regional Finance Director of DCMS, Inc. in Knoxville, TN and Cordele since 1999. He is also very active in the community and he and his wife, Cathy McGill, have three children, Brittany, Bandon, and Dravian McGill, Jr. Dravian McGill, Jr. is currently enrolled in Criminal Justice at South Georgia Technical College is expected to graduate with an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice in May 2017.
Both McGill and Hayes thanked the leadership of South Georgia Technical College for sponsoring the event and for giving them the opportunity to speak. “In my mind, there is no black history without education,” said McGill, who spoke directly to the students and added, “It starts right where you are sitting. You must have an educational foundation if you hope to accomplish your dreams. Buckle down, be the first one to do something different and then come back and help your community.”
He encouraged students to get focused. “South Georgia Technical College is the first step. The key to success is to take your education and be prepared. Prepare yourself for the opportunities that are coming your way. South Georgia Tech can propel you forward,” said McGill, who closed with the statement, “today it is not about black or white – it is about making the green. Take time to study and take opportunities to learn. When education meets opportunity, that’s when success happens!”
Hayes echoed what McGill said and added that it was an honor and a pleasure to speak at her alma mater. Her talk centered on the topic, “A Charge to Keep.” She listed three main parts and encouraged students to charge forward for themselves, their fellowman and community, and finally for their heavenly Father.
“How many of you have goals?” asked Hayes to the students, faculty, and administrators at the event. “Education was a priority in our household. I got my start right here at South Georgia Tech. This college laid the foundation for me.”
Hayes used education as a foundation to build on her charge to herself. Then she began to give back to her community and fellowman through her work as the Executive Director for Crisp County Area Habitat for Humanity, Inc. and her involvement in community organizations. She encouraged others not to stop there, but to continue their charge to their heavenly Father, by “showing God’s love to all God’s children. We will be disciples when we love one another as God loved us,” said Hayes.
In addition to the two keynote speakers at the event, South Georgia Technical College Crisp County Center National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) Vice President Valerie Byron, NTHS Parliamentarian Christian Powell, and NTHS members Ramona Williams and Dontavious Harrell provided historical spotlights on four nationally recognized African American individuals. The spotlights included information on Misty Copeland, Langston Hughes, Michelle Obama, and Maya Angelou.
SGTC Dean of Enrollment Management Julie Partain welcomed everyone to the event. SGTC Student Affairs Coordinator Kari Bodrey introduced the speakers and students. Katrice Taylor, SGTC Instructor and NTHS Advisor, led the musical tribute and South Georgia Technical College employee and Pastor Keith Lewis provided an invocation. SGTC Crisp County Center NTHS President/State Officer Maria Rivera delivered the closing remarks.