Written by Megan Bednar
[Clinton, N.C.] – Wyatt Holland, a recent graduate of Midway High School (MHS) and Sampson Community College (SCC), was a student in SCC’s Career & College Promise (CCP) program who managed to graduate with high honors and three credentials in June 2022: his high school diploma, Associate of Arts, and Associate of Science degrees. Because of Holland’s achievements throughout his time at SCC, he was also awarded an Outstanding Student Award for his excellence in the CCP A.A. program—being chosen out of 47 graduating CCP students this year.
Holland was first introduced to the CCP program at SCC by his high school guidance office and Carlie McPhail, MHS Career Coach. He loved the fact that he could save both time and money through the CCP program, while also challenging himself academically with college courses during high school. Holland plans to attend the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) to major in biology, and possibly minor in exercise science. While he hasn’t completely decided on what he wants to do career-wise, Holland knows that he wants to work in the healthcare field—so he can help others recover from setbacks like injuries or illnesses.
On top of completing both high school and college classes, Holland also participated in multiple activities such as sports, church events, and volunteer work during his time at SCC and MHS. He stated that at times, because of his busy schedule, it was challenging to balance his course load: AP, Honors, and CCP classes, plus extracurriculars and community service activities. However, amidst his full plate, Holland managed to absolutely soar during his time in the CCP program, maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA at Sampson CC.
He spoke about his time in CCP, “At first, I was nervous because I didn’t know how to navigate online schoolwork, but I got a feel for it quickly. I enjoyed challenging myself with new classes that you can’t take in high school and with harder college classes that expanded my knowledge. During those four semesters I had very rigorous schedules, so I had to adapt, and it forced me to learn and develop time management skills. CCP also taught me perseverance because there were lots of times I didn’t know if I could handle the workload, but I had to push through and in the end, I became stronger because of it.”
Upon receiving word that he had been nominated for the CCP A.A. Outstanding Student Award out of almost 50 graduating CCP students at Sampson CC, Holland stated that he was quite surprised and very humbled to have been chosen for such a thing. He simply strives to do his best in all he does, no matter if an award is up for grabs.
Holland expressed, “It was very humbling to realize that other people thought my work ethic and academic standing was deserving of this award. I never thought I would be nominated for this award because every day I just tried my best to get the best grade possible in order to glorify God. I am very grateful I was nominated.”
Emily Brown, Director of Secondary Partnerships and Student Success at SCC, remarked that Holland had been a model CCP student throughout his four semesters at Sampson CC. She is quite proud of his achievements and determination throughout the program, and overall, believes he has a very bright future ahead of him.
Brown voiced, “Wyatt truly was an exemplary CCP student. He is well-rounded and earned top grades throughout rigorous coursework. Not only did he balance a full-time college course load in addition to a competitive high school schedule, but he’s also a very involved member of his community. We are very proud of Wyatt’s accomplishments and are excited to see where his bright future takes him.”
Similarly, Carlie McPhail, who advised Holland throughout his education at both MHS and SCC since the beginning, expressed that it was a joy to work with Holland during his time in the CCP program. She, like Brown, believes that Holland is an all-around outstanding student and individual, one who will surely accomplish many great things in the years to come.
McPhail explained, “Wyatt went above and beyond to accomplish two associate degrees with high honors on top of his high school course load. He is truly an all-around remarkable student and individual. I have no doubt that Wyatt will go far in life and will accomplish anything he sets his mind to. It was a pleasure knowing Wyatt during his time in the CCP program, and we wish him the best with all to come.”
When asked who encouraged him to complete two degrees through SCC’s CCP program, Holland voiced that both Carlie McPhail and his parents helped him succeed in a variety of ways. He stated that his parents were always there for him during his time at SCC, loving him and pushing him to do his best every step of the way. Likewise, McPhail assisted him academically, by helping him manage timely degree completion and choose courses that would transfer to UNCW. Because of their support, Holland voiced that he strived to do his best in his classes, so nothing they did for him would go to waste.
First and foremost, however, Holland adamantly wanted to thank God for all He did for him during his educational journey. For without God, Holland stated, none of his accomplishments would have been possible—He deserves all the credit. During his time at MHS and SCC, Holland explained that he always referred to Philippians 4:6-7 when things got tough. In Holland’s eyes, his faith is what kept him going during his high school and college classes, what helped him succeed, and what continues to drive him today.
Holland elaborated, “I want to give God all the glory and credit because He has blessed me with all I have, and I try my best in everything I do to bring Him glory. The most important thing to me in life is my relationship with Jesus Christ. I think that it is essential for others to know that about me. My faith in Jesus Christ is really what drives me because I want to be a good steward of all He blesses me with and do everything to the best of my ability to bring him glory. God has allowed me to complete all these things and I am so grateful He has blessed me with the abilities to be in the position that I can have two associates and a high school diploma at eighteen”
Overall, Holland voiced that the CCP program has been a great experience and a wonderful way to challenge himself and achieve the high goals he sets. Altogether, he encourages other students to enroll in the CCP program during high school because of all its benefits. To Holland, CCP has shown him how future college classes will function, it has saved him time and money, and has generally helped him grow personally and academically in so many ways.
Holland concluded, “SCC’s CCP program has been a great experience that has taught me a lot of things, including time management and perseverance. It has also allowed me to tremendously reduce the amount of time I have to go to college, which will definitely be worth it when I have to start paying for school. Another reason CCP has been so great is because of how it has forced me to go outside my comfort zone and grow as a person. In the end, I fully believe that SCC has been and will be worth it.”
Sampson CC is immensely proud of Wyatt. The College admires his determination and dedication during his time in the CCP program and was honored to present him with an Outstanding Student Award for 2022. SCC believes his future educational journey will take him far.
For more information about the CCP program or how to apply, visit www.sampsoncc.edu/ccp.
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.