Written by Olivia Gillespie – Foundation Intern, Spring 2021
(CLINTON, N.C.) – Jose Garcia was one of four Career Coaches recently hired for the Career and College Promise (CCP) program at Sampson Community College (SCC). Garcia is a first-generation high school and college student. Outside of work, Garcia is married and has four kids that range from the age of fourteen to twenty-two. Garcia is currently splitting his time as a Career Coach for the CCP program between Lakewood High School and Hobbton High School. Garcia has only been at SCC for a brief period but appears to have already made his mark.
When asked about Garcia, Emily Brown, Clinton High School’s Career Coach replied, “Jose brings a level of personality and passion for student success that is contagious. He truly cares about connecting with students and showing them opportunities beyond what they thought possible.”
Garcia graduated from Midway High School in 2002. He then went on to attend SCC for three years. After attending SCC, Garcia graduated from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication. Before joining SCC as a Career Coach, Garcia worked for Sampson County Schools for eleven years. While at Sampson County Schools he was the Migrant and Parent Liaison for the migrant population.
Garcia says his desire to join the CCP program as a Career Coach was fueled by his desire to help all students with their journey both in and out of high school. Garcia also discussed his interest in helping the Spanish-speaking community. Overall, he wants to ensure that the students have a bright and planned out future ahead of them.
Garcia stated, “When this position opened up, I just felt like it was an opportunity for me to not only just help the Spanish-speaking community, but just help kids achieve something in their life.”
As a Career Coach for the CCP program, Garcia spends most of his time stationed at Lakewood and Hobbton High Schools. While at these two schools, Garcia helps students register for CCP classes and helps them discover the future path that they want to pursue. Garcia helps students decide if after high school if they want to attend a four-year university, a community college, or go straight into the workforce.
Since beginning in December of 2020, Garcia says his experience as a Career Coach has been “phenomenal.” He has had a wonderful experience bonding and getting to know his fellow Career Coaches. Garica also commented on how he has had a tremendous amount of help in his transition from the Director of Career and College Promise, Perry Gillespie.
Perry Gillespie shared, “Jose brings a fresh point of view as a Career Coach. His previous job with Sampson County Schools allowed him to know many of the students already, and this has been an asset as he began working with the schools. Jose is a hard worker and from day one has hit the ground running. “
Garcia has many goals for himself as a Career Coach and for the CCP program. One of his main goals is to expand the CCP program at the smaller schools. Garcia wants to increase the number of students that enroll in CCP courses at SCC from the schools with smaller student populations.
As a new Career Coach for the Career and College Promise program at Sampson Community College, Jose Garcia hopes to only help the program grow and flourish.
About Sampson Community College: Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options and early college education.