Forsyth Tech will use a new grant to expand a new effort to help its students

Forsyth Tech said it will use a new grant of nearly a half-million dollars to expand a new effort to help its students.

The grant — $440,000 from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust — will go toward Forsyth Tech Cares, which provides emergency aid and other services to the college’s students.

The donation “will have a powerful impact for many of our students …” Forsyth Tech President Janet Spriggs said in a news release. “We want our students to be successful, and we realize helping students succeed means caring for the whole person and supporting their needs both inside and outside the classroom.”

The community college launched Forsyth Tech Cares in March as the COVID-19 pandemic started to sweep through North Carolina. The pandemic caused the college and other institutions to move instruction online and forced many businesses to close. Not only did some Forsyth Tech students lack the technology to keep up with their studies, some also lost jobs.

Forsyth Tech Cares was created to help students with what college leaders called “life happens” moments — outside-the-classroom events that can derail college attendance and cause some students to drop out.

As the pandemic spread, the college said the needs of its students became more pressing. Since March, the college said nearly 1,500 students have asked for help buying computers, paying for internet access and covering basic needs such as food and rent. The college didn’t say how much money the new effort has paid out.

With the grant, the college said it can help more students in additional areas, including child care, health care, transportation, disability testing and legal aid. The college also will use the new grant funds to provide workshops on budgeting, personal growth and parenting.

Forsyth Tech said the expanded services should help the college retain more students from semester to semester and year to year.

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust is a Winston-Salem charitable organization that, according to its website, works to improve the health and quality of life of people who live in Forsyth County and across North Carolina.

The funding of this grant will be life-changing for students who experience barriers beyond the classroom that hinder their success

Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, N.C. – The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust has given $440,000 to Forsyth Tech to provide student support services leading to improved student completion and retention.

In Fall 2019, the college began working in collaborative teams of faculty and staff to research and identify alternative ways to provide students help completing their degrees and managing “life happens” moments. These collaboratives provided insight into the barriers students must overcome, not only to stay in school but to have food, childcare, transportation and housing. Forsyth Tech recognized the crucial need for a “web” of services that includes support both on and off campus through better connections with community resources.

Tiers of Joy: Woman’s terraced garden started with a single work

One of the most sustainable ways to create a sinuous garden space is to work with existing elements. Whether it’s slope, sun exposure or natural materials, our own patches of earth can provide a road map for our gardens to take shape.

Inspired from existing natural materials, a thoughtfully terraced backyard garden in south Winston-Salem began with a single rock. And from this small boulder, an intricate garden grew around it, all from the hands of a single gardener.

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Forsyth Tech invites the community to maintain social distancing, and drive through a party for the “Big Reveal” of the college’s new logo and brand

Winston-Salem, N.C. — After entering into a re-branding process earlier this year, Forsyth Tech is ready for the “Big Reveal” of a new brand identity. Through a thoughtful process of research, interviews, focus groups and brainstorming sessions with employees, students, alumni and members of the community, the college developed its new brand to reflect the dynamic relationship between Forsyth Tech and its audiences.

“We first considered what Forsyth Tech is for our students and the community,” said Janet Spriggs, president of Forsyth Tech. “What we heard from them was critical to understanding who we are and what Forsyth Tech means to our community.”

A Message from Forsyth Technical Community College President Janet Spriggs

Last week, in my president’s update message to the students, staff and faculty of Forsyth Tech, I shared my personal heartbreak and sadness over the senseless and tragic death of George Floyd earlier in the week in Minneapolis, and the incomprehensible deaths of so many other black and brown citizens. Today, I remain heartbroken.

As I write this, a shadow of despair blankets much of our nation; pain and bitterness borne from unfathomable injustice envelops our hearts. In the midst of the continuing toll of the global pandemic, our nation was laid bare in 2020 by three separate racist acts causing the deaths of three African Americans — Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.

Across our state and our country, we are struggling, and it is heartbreaking. I have to believe we want to accept, own, and overcome the discrimination, oppression, and inequities which have long threatened to destroy our democracy, but the roots are deep and the healing and transformational pathway forward will be long and difficult. We must focus on eradicating the root cause behind the heinous actions that have brought us here. We have spent this year fighting the novel coronavirus COVID-19, and now we are fighting another disease — one which is tearing us apart and is created by prejudice, racism, hate and evil.

In 2019, my first year as your president, our college community created a new shared vision: “Forsyth Technical Community College is a catalyst for equitable economic mobility, empowering lives and transforming communities.” We also worked together to build our Vision 2025 strategic plan and we adopted our first ever equity statement: “Forsyth Technical Community College equity is grounded in a culture of belonging. We will intentionally design the college experience to ensure that each learner receives what they need to be successful.” As an institution, we have established our core values: excellence, learning, innovation, diversity, and integrity.

Everything we did together over the past year has positioned us to be leaders, and moreover, to lead boldly and bravely. If ever there was a time when our students and the communities we serve needed us to lead, and to do so fearlessly and courageously, that time is now.

Perhaps one place we can lead is through advancing dialogue — real, hard, courageous, respectful, honest, and healing dialogue. Despite everything that has happened this year, and maybe in spite of it all, I still have faith. Many years ago, Charles Spurgeon said: “Faith goes up the stairs that love has built, and looks out the windows which hope has opened.”

At this critical moment in our nation’s history, perhaps our leadership imperative at Forsyth Tech is to advance courageous and difficult conversations to create productive and systemic change. Perhaps our values of excellence, learning, innovation, diversity and integrity can frame our conversations and lead us to action that expands our institutional culture of belonging into efforts to build a world of belonging. Perhaps our dialogue can be grounded in our work to be a catalyst for equitable economic mobility and we can use the power of knowledge to empower our students so they can be a part of transforming our communities.

I have faith that stairs built by love lead to windows opened by hope. I have faith in the hope of a better tomorrow for our country and a nation where all men and women are truly equal and free. I have faith that we as a country want to be better than we have been. I have faith that we, Forsyth Tech students, staff, and faculty, can be the change that we want to see in the world, and as a college community we can be a model for systemic transformation and healing.

I am privileged to lead Forsyth Technical Community College. This year, as we celebrate our 60th year as a life-changing institution of higher education in North Carolina, I pledge to be the leader you and our community deserve and need. For me, that means being a leader who does not accept that some things cannot be changed, but rather a leader who strives with her whole heart to lead change for the things we should not, cannot, and will no longer accept.

Forsyth Technical Community College firmly denounces all acts of racism, violence, and injustice.

  • We stand firm in our belief in the power of education to empower and transform.

  • We stand firm in our belief that equity matters.

  • We stand firm in our acknowledgement of the existence of systemic racism and commit to doing our part to dismantle unjust systems, including the barriers that may exist here at Forsyth Tech.

  • We stand firm in our belief in the words that undergird our nation’s democracy: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

  • We stand firm in our belief that we can change the things that we should not, cannot, and will no longer accept.

 

Janet Spriggs' Signature

With hope for a better tomorrow . . . Your president,

Dr. Janet N. Spriggs

EVEN IN AN ESPECIALLY CHALLENGING TIME, GRADUATION IS STILL HER TARGET

For a full-time employee, mother and student, Jade Pendry is determined to reach her goal even during
a pandemic.

Winston-Salem, NC — Taking one step at a time is part of the routine for Jade Pendry. As a mom to a two-year old, a full-time radiography technologist at the University of North Carolina Hospital at Rockingham, and a full-time student at Forsyth Technical Community College, she’s learned to balance. As her name, Jade suggests, perhaps a little luck, harmony and balance are part of her DNA. When COVID-19 turned up in our world, Pendry did what she usually does, she adjusted and adapted, but even this was beyond her normal. She’s managing all of this and will graduate in July.

Jade Pendry Photo“COVID-19 was unusual and beyond anything we had seen before,” said Pendry. “We kept our testing area completely taped off and when anyone came into the hospital with symptoms, we completely suited up in our personal protective equipment (PPE). At one point, I had to be in isolation for two weeks away from my son and family.”
She missed seeing him every day and said it was very difficult to Facetime with a two-year-old.
Pendry received her associate in applied science in radiologic technology Virginia. She explained that her mother wanted to go to school for radiology before she passed away from cancer. To fulfill her mom’s dream, Pendry became a radiologic technologist. While it’s been an intriguing job that she loves, she felt like her dreams were not completely fulfilled. She began pursuing her associate in applied science in radiation therapy at Forsyth Tech in August, 2019.
“Radiation therapy has been my ultimate goal,” said Pendry. “While my mom was having her treatments, I was only 11 years old but the impact those therapists had on my journey, made me realize I want to be there for patients in that same way.”
To say Pendry’s schedule is demanding is an understatement. Pendry works full-time on third shift on the weekends while attending college. With her schedule, it means she’s awake for 24 hours on Mondays and Fridays. She was commuting from her home in Reidsville to Winston-Salem for school Monday through Friday. On Fridays, she would drive to Rockingham for work and then home to Reidsville on Saturday morning. She would go to work Sunday night and start all over on Monday.
The online classes may have given her more time but she still had to adapt.
“I hadn’t taken online classes before so it was a challenge to keep up,” said Pendry. “With face-to-face classes, I get more immediate feedback and clarification on topics. But, it’s a good lesson to help me self-pace and stay organized.”
“We’ve all had to cope with limitations at this time,” said Pendry, “I just want to do my best for my patients, for my family and for myself to get my degree. Just three more classes to go and I’m determined to finish!” Pendry will finish her classes this summer and graduate this summer.
Program Coordinator and Professor, Forsyth Tech Radiation Therapy Program, Christina Gibson described Jade. “She is a motivated student who puts her patients’ needs ahead of her own and does whatever it takes to persevere!”
“While many of our imaging departments saw significant decreases in procedure numbers during COVID-19 containment efforts, radiation therapy departments continued to provide services to their immune compromised patients undergoing radiation therapy treatments for their cancer,” said Tamara Beck, associate dean, imaging, Forsyth Tech.
“These professionals had to revise their protocols and take extra steps to ensure these vulnerable patients were safe while continuing to fulfill their radiation therapy regiments. Radiation Therapy departments are anticipating an increase in radiation cancer treatments in the near future due to the delay of cancer diagnosis during the stay-at-home COVID-19 period. I am so very thankful to Radiation Therapists and Imaging professionals who continued to provide compassionate and necessary care during COVID-19!”
Radiation Therapy is one of eight imaging programs at Forsyth Tech. The college also offers programs in Cardiovascular Sonography, Medical Sonography, MRI, CT, Nuclear Medicine Technology, Interventional Cardiovascular Technology, and Radiography. Radiation Therapy is an intense and very rewarding program with great career options.
“We are extremely proud of our graduates and soon-to-be graduates from this program!” said Janet Spriggs, president of Forsyth Tech. “Especially during COVID19, our frontline health technology students have had more than the usual amount of stress. Yet, through it all, they demonstrated how caring for patients is more than a career to them and they will always remember why they chose to serve.”

About Forsyth Tech

Forsyth Technical Community College is a catalyst for equitable economic mobility, empowering lives and transforming communities. The college offers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in over 200 programs of study, including programs that promote personal and professional development through non-credit courses and seminars, as well as customized training for business and industry. Forsyth Tech serves more than 35,000 students with approximately 1,500 full and part-time faculty and staff. For additional information, visit forsythtech.edu and follow on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Community college president talks leadership during pandemic

SALISBURY — Janet Spriggs offered four key ways to lead during the “brave new normal” of the ongoing pandemic: be calm, be confident, be courageous and be compassionate.

Hosted by the Rowan Chamber of Commerce, Spriggs spoke Thursday during the organization’s Power in Partnership breakfast event held via Zoom. Spriggs is former chief operating officer of the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and president of Forsyth Technical Community College. In addition to digital attendees, she spoke to the graduating class of Leadership Rowan on “Learning to Make a Difference: Living Your Purpose in a Brave New Normal.”

Janet N. Spriggs: In the eye of the storm, focusing on students

Like most colleges, spring usually arrives at Forsyth Tech, filled with excitement and anticipation. Students are eager for spring break, faculty and staff are wrapping up another school year, and our graduates shine, walking proudly across the stage to the cheers of everyone who supported them on their journey. Normally, spring is the most wonderful time of our academic year, but that’s not how spring arrived this year.

In my second year as president of Forsyth Technical Community College, I was looking forward to the promise a new year would bring. Our economy was strong, enrollment was up and the 2020 Forsyth County high school graduating class would be the first students eligible for the free college Hope and Opportunity Scholarships. Our vision 2025 strategic plan was in place and we were moving toward our vision of being a catalyst for equitable economic mobility, empowering lives and transforming communities. We could not have envisioned a global pandemic.

Looking back, I will always remember Friday, March 13, 2020, as a pivotal moment for our college, the day our world shifted from “normal” to something new, and uncertain.