[Clinton, N.C.] – As Sampson Community College’s (SCC) Spring 2023 commencement ceremony quickly approaches, the College looks to highlight graduating Foundation scholars—students who have received one or more scholarships from the SCC Foundation. One of those students is Jayla Whitted, an Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) student who received the Royal Heritage Nursing Scholarship at SCC for two consecutive years.
Part of Sampson Early College High School’s (SECHS) Class of 2019, Whitted obtained her Associate of Science degree before enrolling in SCC’s nursing program. She was introduced to the prospect of attending SCC in middle school, with her guidance counselor encouraging her to apply for SECHS.
Growing up, Whitted watched as her mother established her own home business, Mercy Care, Inc.—an organization that cares for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Working with those patients encouraged Whitted to become more involved in the direct care of individuals. However, her unceasing passion for healthcare ultimately comes from her Christian faith.
She explained, “My relationship with God is a huge aspect of my life. Though I grew up in a Christian household, I didn’t start taking my faith and relationship with God seriously until I was around 16 years old. God’s Word tells us to humble ourselves and put others and their needs before our own. This is the message that I aim to live my life by, following in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of this, my passion in life is healthcare administration and direct patient care.”
After graduation in May 2023, Whitted plans to obtain her Master’s in Nursing, and potentially a doctorate as well. With a focus on critical care, she hopes to become a nurse practitioner. Whitted also desires to become involved in solving the homelessness crisis in America, specifically ensuring that individuals are able to obtain adequate medical treatment.
She spoke on her time at the College, “At SCC, the stress of juggling home, work, and school life is greatly decreased because instructors tend to be flexible and frequently make themselves available. I would recommend SCC to prospective students because of the compassion and hospitality that everyone operates under. Everyone is friendly and seems to genuinely care about you, not only as a student but also as a person with a life outside of school.”
When asked who she’d like to thank, Whitted stated that Dr. Sabrina Pope, former ADN instructor at SCC, and her mother, Sonja Whitted, have greatly influenced her life and positively impacted her journey at SCC.
According to Whitted, Pope was one of her freshman nursing instructors who really “cared about the success of her students.” Similarly, Whitted explained that her mother motivated her to pursue a career in healthcare, through both encouraging her to apply for the ADN program and continuously showing her dedication and compassion for her patients at Mercy Care, Inc.
“I am super excited about graduating in May and ready to start my career in nursing,” Whitted anticipated. “I do believe that attending SCC has been worth it. By taking college courses on campus while in high school, it has allowed me to get a head start in life and shaped my mindset as it pertains to education.”
Throughout her time at the College, Whitted received the Royal Heritage Nursing Scholarship at SCC twice, during both the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 academic years. Truly helping her complete nursing school over the past two years, The Dr. Donnie Martin Royal and Dorothy Turlington Royal Heritage Nursing Scholarship Program was established by the Royal Family to assist deserving students in SCC’s nursing program. Dr. and Mrs. Royal were life-long residents of Sampson County, where Dr. Royal served as a physician of general medicine for more than sixty years.
Whitted shared, “This scholarship has assisted me in my journey at SCC by helping me pay for classes and the needed material. Being in nursing school is time consuming and it can be both physically and emotionally draining, so it can be hard to find time to work. Knowing that I didn’t have to be concerned about paying for classes and other materials helped to ease the load.”
She was also awarded The Alice Smith Harris Nursing Scholarship in 2021, established in loving memory of Mrs. Harris, by her husband, Mr. Cecil Harris; and the James and Norma Jones Scholarship in 2022, established by James and Norma Jones. Whitted expressed that these two scholarships also assisted her in completing her education at SCC, and she is eternally grateful to each of the sponsors for making her career in nursing possible.
“I would like to say thank you for being generous and allowing God to use you. Because of your kindness and generosity, I am forever grateful, and I pray that God continues to bless you so that you can continue to bless others.”
Sampson CC is incredibly proud of Jayla and her achievements. The College admires her passion for helping others and looks forward to all she will do throughout her career in healthcare.
For more information about how to give to the SCC Foundation and how to support student scholarships, visit www.sampsoncc.edu/foundation
To apply for scholarships like the Royal Heritage Nursing Scholarship, visit http://www.sampsoncc.edu/scholarships
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. SCC is committed to the principles of equal educational and employment opportunities for all.