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The Mamba Mentality is Alive in Fairfield County
By Sam Hodges

Yesterday, Kobe Bryant would have turned 42 years old. He remains an inspiration and an idol to many across the globe. Kobe had a remarkable career on and off the court. He was an entrepreneur, creator, innovator, hustler, scholar, and father. There are many things that Kobe Bryant’s legacy can teach us. One of the most important being that hard-work and determination will always prevail. In this week’s blog we discuss the importance of education and what Fairfield County, the Fairfield County School District and Midlands Technical College are doing to ensure we provide our citizens with opportunity.

Rural communities across the state and country are investing in education to better their communities and provide opportunity for its citizens. Fairfield County has implemented similar programs seen in other counties across the state. However, one that remains unique to the Midlands region, is the Fairfield County Promise Program.

The Promise Program allows Fairfield county students the ability for continued education whether it is in a technical field or educational program. My daughter was accepted to several colleges throughout the state but after discussions we decided to take advantage of the Promise Program.  This gives me the ability to observe the programs functionality and if changes need to be made for future students. I believe in the Promise Program and I believe this will prepare students for success. – Chairman and Promise Program Parent Neil Robinson

Below is an explanation of the program provided by Midlands Technical College. “The Fairfield County Promise Program (the “Promise Program”) is a scholarship program funded through Fairfield County and the Fairfield County School District in partnership with Midlands Technical College (MTC). The Promise Program scholarship will support students who thought college might be an impossible dream due to a shortage of finances. It provides financial assistance to eligible citizens of Fairfield County to attend MTC and enroll in and complete academic curriculum degrees, diplomas, or certificate programs. In addition, students will develop leadership skills that positively influence their personal and professional communities. The program covers the cost of tuition and related fees after federal and state aid has been applied. Any high school graduate of a Fairfield County public, charter, private, state-approved home school or GED recipient who also resides in Fairfield County is eligible.  Students must enroll at MTC within nine (9) months of high school graduation or GED completion.”

Warren Buffet, world-renowned philanthropist and investor stated, “The best investment you can make, is an investment in yourself.” The Promise Program is an investment that will reap economic development benefits for years to come. A strong, educated workforce is a selling-point to recruit businesses to the area. It shows our level of commitment to new and existing industry by providing these educational opportunities for county residents. There are seven Midlands Technical College campuses in the Midlands Region but the Fairfield County Promise Program is the first of its kind.

Education for a large number of individuals in rural communities is imperative to sustainable development. It has been widely recognized as a pivotal piece to alleviating poverty ridden communities. Fairfield County has stepped up to curb this common problem by creating educational opportunities like the Promise Program. In the United States, there is a direct correlation between median average earning and educational attainment. Education is associated with higher earning in both urban and rural communities.

We have to tip our cap to the leaders in Fairfield County who turned the Promise Program from a thought to a reality. J.R. Green, our state reps Senator Mike Fanning and Representative Annie McDaniel, Fairfield County Council and Midlands Technical College all played vital roles in making this project happen. We are a better, much-stronger community when we all work together and this program is a testament to just that.

Opportunity is here. Listen to leaders like Kobe Bryant and Warren Buffet. Find ways to get involved and never stop moving, listening, and learning. Funds are available on a first-come first-served basis. Only two steps to apply. First apply to MTC at this link https://www.midlandstech.edu/admissions. Next, fill out your FAFSA form at this link https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa.

Brandon Benjamin is your personal admissions counselor: benjaminb@midlandstech.edu | (803) 822 - 3515

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