More than 800 Shout out Importance of Staying in School at CCC Retention Rally
CLARKSDALE - More than 800 students and faculty at Coahoma Community College transformed Wednesday’s Retention Rally into an explosion of competitive shouting to stay in school with “If it is to be, it’s up to me.”
Organized by CCC’s Career Technical Division, the lively event opened with sedate introductions of administrators and faculty including counselor Mary Wilson assuring students, “We want you to succeed, and you can succeed if you remain in the program.”
Accelerating the tempo, Tolernisa Butler, child development technology instructor, challenged sections of the Pinnacle audience to outshout each other with “Ain’t no stopping us now” to the positive goals “I’m gonna stay in school.”
The ultimate “shout out” came from CCC’s new student retention officer, Elbert Foules, a former professional National Football League (NFL) standout for the Philadelphia Eagles and counselor to high-risk inner city kids in Los Angeles.
“If you have problems remaining in school, come see me; we will work with you,” urged Foules who praised the value of education and Dr. Vivian Presley’s historic role as the first African-American community college president.
“God gave me the strength to go around and over mountains, and to realize if it’s to be, it’s up to me,” he continued.
Anne Shelton-Clark, vice president of career technical education, reported, “We’re off to a good start, and we want you to stay with us.”
With counselor Charles Butler presiding, the event opened with an invocation by Kayla Wigley, a cosmetology student, and music by Ezra Howard and Chris Dixon. Other speakers included Lucy Chatman-Scott, associate vice president; Kimberly Hollins, business and office systems technology instructor; and Victoria Battee, cosmetology student.