Kaitlyn Campbell, of Prestonsburg is shown with Big Sandy Community and Technical College President Dr. Devin Stephenson and his wife, Judy during the 15th annual Scholarship Reception on Thursday, October 29 on the Mayo campus. Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) held its 15th annual Dr. George D. Edwards Scholarship Reception on Thursday, October 29 on its Mayo campus.

This year, the college awarded more than $450,000 in scholarships and waivers to 250 students.

Dr. Devin Stephenson, president of BSCTC, served as the keynote speaker.

We have the finest community and technical college faculty and staff anywhere and I am extremely proud of their experience, credentials and passion for teaching, learning and serving, he said.

He encouraged students to be courageous and take the initiative to change things for the better.

Have the courage to stick with a tough job and dont listen to naysayers, he said. And never limit yourself by past expectations and failures. What matters most is not how many times you fail, but that you never stop trying.

Dr. Stephenson left students with the following advice: Be loyal to those for whom you work and your fellow man. Let others take credit. Make a difference in this world and be a builder. Leave a legacy of hope and faith for those who follow you.

Kaitlyn Campbell, of Prestonsburg, a second-year student in the Honors Program, spoke of being blessed.
The Honors Program fell into my lap and took care of my expenses, she said.

Campbell, who serves as vice president of the Phi Theta Kappa honors society and secretary of the Student Government Association, traveled to Ireland earlier this year as part of a college group. This summer, she plans to travel to Italy.

I just may end up traveling the world, she said, smiling. Her plans are to pursue a degree in Fine Arts.

Ashley Minix, of Magoffin County, spoke of the struggles of taking care of her parents and trying to make ends meet. She is the recipient of the Bluegrass for Education scholarship and is a student in the cosmetology program.

I tell you this not for your sympathy, but to let you know that there are students here that would not make it without your kindness and generosity, she said.

Minix concluded her remarks with a quote from philosopher Allan Bloom: Education is the movement from darkness to light.

She concluded: Im Ashley Minix at Big Sandy Community and Technical College following that light.