My early education took place at home. Being homeschooled prepared me for my college education which began at Surry Community College when I was a junior in high school. My transition to SCC was smooth since I had been dual enrolled. My obvious major of choice was Viticulture and Enology since I have grown up in the grape and wine industry. In fact, this unique program gave me the knowledge and confidence to become a part of my family’s vineyard and winery business. The Viticulture and Enology program gave me opportunities to widen my experiences here at Surry. One instance of this was my presidency of the Wine and Vine Club. This was my first leadership opportunity here at Surry. We succeeded in many of our endeavors, the most notable of which was when we sent two World War II veterans to Washington, DC through the Triad Flight of Honor, which required the raising of $1,000 dollars. The Club also raised a few hundred pounds of food for the Dobson food pantry.
In 2010, I served as a marshal at SCC’s Graduation. This was the beginning of my many great opportunities to serve SCC. Without question, the most influential experience I had at Surry was the privilege to serve as a college Ambassador. I was one of five students selected as an ambassador for the 2010-2011 school year. Serving in this leadership position gave me the opportunity to gain an in-depth knowledge of SCC by giving campus tours and interacting with college faculty and staff. My experiences as an ambassador gave me a great appreciation of SCC as a whole, its programs, and the inner workings of this excellent college. My most recent achievement at SCC has been my nomination and selection for the presidency of the honor society, Phi Theta Kappa, which I will hold until the end of the spring 2012 semester. I was also awarded the SCC Cooperative Education Academic Excellence Award in spring of 2011 for my three semesters of work through the SCC Cooperative Education program.
At the end of the fall 2011 semester, I completed my Viticulture and Enology Degree, and I am now working toward an Associate in Science degree in hopes of transferring to a four year school in the near future. Throughout my entire education here at SCC, I have kept my GPA at 4.00, which I consider an accomplishment because it took hard work and dedication. No matter where I continue my education, I know that the positive effects of Surry Community College will benefit me.
Apart from SCC, I am now the winemaker and vineyard manager for my family’s winery and tasting room, Olde Mill Winery and Vineyards. Since I have been making wine at Olde Mill, we have won seven medals at wine competitions, which includes one gold, three silver, and one bronze from the Mid-Atlantic Wine Competition and also two silver medals from the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. My winemaking endeavors have been a success due to the excellent education, hands on training, and industry connections I received through the Viticulture and Enology Program. Besides continuing my education, growing grapes, and making wine, I am a state certified beekeeper and hope to achieve the rank of master beekeeper in the future.