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More than 140 SCC students and growing benefit from Economic Visionaries 2021 scholarships

For the past four years, the Spartanburg Community College Foundation has spearheaded the college’s signature event, Economic Visionaries, hosting 600-700 area businesspeople and friends of the school for an evening of awards and recognition of outstanding area innovators.

COVID-19 put the brakes on most large gatherings and public events over the past year, with SCC opting not to stage Economic Visionaries 2021. But the need to raise funds for SCC students, faculty and staff remains, said SCC Foundation Executive Director Bea Walters Smith.

“Last year – March 12, 2020 – was the last public event in Spartanburg and it was ours,” Smith said. “Here we are a year later and it’s still a priority and a focus of the SCC Foundation to raise money.”

Event sponsors were asked to continue to provide support, with the Foundation turning their sponsor dollars into scholarships. To date, 140 students have been awarded $500 gap scholarships to assist with out-of-pocket expenses for items such as supplies, uniforms and study materials. The foundation’s goal is to award 200 gap scholarships.

Daymon Phillips, a scholarship recipient from Gaffney, received $500 from The Timken Company.

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“We didn’t know it, but both of Daymon’s parents work for Timken,” Smith said. “It all came full circle.”

A mechatronics student, Phillips wants to become a technician and further his education in industrial management to become an effective team lead or even a plant manager.

“This scholarship is proof that manufacturers and all these companies want us,” Phillips said. “There are students fighting for BMW, Timken and Michelin scholarship opportunities to do co-ops so they can go work for them and either get reimbursed or get their full tuition paid off.”

Companies interested in participating in the Economic Visionaries 2021 scholarship program can contact Bea Walters Smith at smithbw@sccsc.edu or (864) 592-4448.

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