Written by Olivia Gillespie – Foundation Intern, Spring 2021
(CLINTON, N.C.) – Katie Butler graduated from Clinton High School in 2012. She then went on to graduate from East Carolina University with a degree in Rehabilitation Services in 2016. Now, Butler is one of four Career Coaches recently hired with the Career and College Promise (CCP) program at Sampson Community College (SCC) and is stationed at Midway High School. Butler has already proved to be a key asset to one of the biggest high schools involved with the CCP program.
For Butler, joining the CCP program and working at Midway High School is about giving college access to every student that she encounters.
“I want everybody to be independent, successful, and accomplish everything that they want to accomplish regardless of their background, resources, or disability. Some people just do not have the resources at home to allow them to further their education or career,” Butler shared when asked about what about her degree field interests her.
In 2020, Butler graduated with her master’s degree in Rehabilitation and Career Counseling. During the time of working on her master’s degree, Butler was able to spend time with her daughter. Butler then began to work part-time with the ACE program at Sampson Community College while working on her second degree. Before starting her new job as a Career Coach, Butler worked with the ACE program for two years.
When asked about Bulter, Perry Gillespie, Director of Career and College Promise replied, “When you meet Katie, you can automatically tell she’s a nurturer. What an awesome trait to have in my opinion. It makes you approachable and easy to talk with about any issue. This is half the battle when working with our CCP population. You want them to come to you when needed and have them feel like you’re excited to help them. For some of these students, it will be their family’s first interaction with a college and having someone like Katie ensures it to be a pleasurable one.“
Butler believes that anyone who is unsure about what they want to go to college for should consider attending SCC. Especially for those that are more afraid of going straight into a university setting. Butler would say that SCC allows you to get started on your college education in a smaller and more tight-knit environment.
Her love of working at SCC was one of the main reasons why Butler decided to join the CCP program as a Career Coach. By becoming a Career Coach, Butler has been able to utilize the degree that she recently received. Butler knew that as a Career Coach she be able to reach students that are not using the opportunities that the CCP program can provide.
Bulter stated, “I have already learned a lot and I have already built relationships with other employees that I have worked with before, but I didn’t really know them that well. “
As the Career Coach at Midway High School, Butler has a personal goal to find the students that want to take classes that are more Career and Technical Education based. She wants to increase the number of students at Midway High School that might not qualify for the regular CCP courses, but instead would benefit greatly from taking the Career and Technical Education courses.
ACE Coordinator, Kimberly Testerman shared, “Katie is awesome at everything she does. She has a kind and caring heart, and she was definitely an asset to our ACE Program. I was saddened to see her leave, but I know she will do an amazing job at Midway.”
Though Katie Butler has a new position in a different department at Sampson Community College her impact is already evident. The significant role that Butler will play in growing the Career and College Promise program has been apparent during her brief time as a Career Coach.
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.