Calhoun Student Wins Regional Workforce Development ScholarshipOctober 21, 2020
Calhoun Community College student Barry Atchison is one of 25 recipients across the country to win the 2020 Trustmark Workforce Development Scholarship.
Atchison, a former homeschooled dual enrollment student is currently enrolled in Calhoun’s Welding Technology program, where he has maintained a perfect 4.0 every semester. “I had no idea I would find my true passion for life at such an early age,” commented Atchison. The Hartselle, Alabama native goes on to say, “Scholarships such as this one from Trustmark are so important to students like me. They not only assist financially, but they position us to advance in our trade, which means more job opportunities.”
The $200 scholarship is awarded to members of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society who plan to enter the workforce upon the completion of an associate degree or certification. “Members of Phi Theta Kappa are committed to academic excellence, and we are proud to partner with them to recognize their accomplishments,” commented Melanie Morgan, Trustmark Senior Vice President and Director of Corporate Communications and Marketing. “We would like to congratulate the scholarship recipients and look forward to seeing them develop into future leaders, as well as making significant contributions to their communities,” added Morgan.
“The one-on-one training I received from my Calhoun welding instructors while obtaining my certificate is what helped me to land a welding job with an amazing aerospace company,” said Atchison.
Approximately 74 percent of students attending associate degree-granting colleges will enter the workforce following graduation, and one in four Phi Theta Kappa members is a career-technical student. The costs of required industry certifications are directly passed to the students, and the Trustmark Workforce Development Scholarship is one of many scholarships available to assist students with those expenses.
“We are so proud of Barry and all he has and still is accomplishing at Calhoun,” commented Dr. Joe Burke, Calhoun Interim President. “Last year, Barry was a welder on
Calhoun’s Project MFG Competition team, and our College took home the gold. That competition speaks volumes to his dedication, training and vast understanding of welding,” added Burke.
“From welding to nursing, many career fields require a certification prior to employment, and these certifications can be costly,” Phi Theta Kappa Foundation Executive Director Dr. Monica Marlowe said. “We are committed to removing these costs, which can be a barrier to students entering the workforce. Congratulations to the recipients of this scholarship, and thank you to Trustmark for your support,” added Marlowe.
“Calhoun is a magical place, the people, the culture will make you fall in love with it, and I am thankful for my PTK sponsors and faculty who helped me to obtain this scholarship,” Atchison said.
To learn more about Calhoun’s Dual Enrollment program, please visit www.calhoun.edu/dual enrollment. To learn more about the Trustmark workforce development scholarship, visit http://www.ptk.org/scholarships.