FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Contact: Robert Preston, Jr.,
Former SGC student wins prestigious award, returns to
speak at presidential inauguration
“I felt South Georgia College was the right place for me. I
liked the one-on-one attention I received from my professors. I also like
the community. SGC prepared me very well for the University of Georgia,”
says Isaac Howard, a 2003 graduate who is set to receive his juris doctor
from the UGA School of Law in May.
a native of Perry, is the first person in his family to go to college. “I
decided to go to school because I knew there was no life without a college
education,” he says. Isaac grew up in a housing project with a single mother
and two siblings. The project was gated, and to Isaac, those gates became a
symbol of confinement. Isaac says that the gates served to “confine the
residents to not only the physical but also the mental, spiritual, and
emotional parameters of this neighborhood. The gates set boundaries for the
existence of the neighborhood’s residents. It separated my family and our
neighbors from the people living in the surrounding neighborhoods. I spent
countless nights in my bedroom looking over the gate thinking how lucky the
people were who stayed beyond because they did not have to experience the
infinite pain and agony that I was experiencing at home and at school. I
dreamed of how terrific life could be for me if I ever made it beyond the
He knew the way out was through education. That is what led him to South
Georgia College and beyond those gates. To say his life has dramatically
changed since he enrolled at SGC would be quite an understatement.
Tens of thousands of students each year enter and exit Georgia’s colleges
and universities. Many fail to realize the opportunity they have and the
resources that are at their disposal. Isaac didn’t make that mistake. He
admits that he had the ability to make good grades in high school but did
not apply himself. As a result, he entered SGC and had to play catch-up.
Isaac had to take a few remedial classes his first year. He enlisted the
help of TRiO Student Support Services (SSS).
SSS is a federally funded program designed to motivate and support students
from disadvantaged backgrounds. Angela Nuga directs the program on SGC’s
campus. Isaac found encouragement and the tools he needed to succeed.
“Student Support Services made me into the person I am today. It helped me
catch up and let me know I was a great person,” he says.
Isaac’s grades improved; he became an A and B student. He went from being
tutored by SSS to becoming an SSS tutor and mentor. He involved himself in
campus life at SGC, and worked as a resident assistant at Floyd Hall, where
he supervised over 100 students, organized student activities and advised
residents on personal and academic issues.
Isaac earned a degree in criminal justice from SGC, and left Douglas for the
University of Georgia in 2003, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in
history. He received a number of awards while at UGA: Dean’s List, Fulbright
Hays Scholar, Golden Key Honor Society, Hope Scholar, Most Outstanding
Student for Isi-Zulu (foreign language), National Scholar’s Honor Society,
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and Presidential Scholar.
By all accounts, he had done something remarkable simply by obtaining his
history degree. However, Isaac wasn’t through yet. His ultimate goal was to
attend law school. He applied to and was accepted to the UGA School of Law,
and is expected to graduate with his juris doctor next month.
Isaac is a true SSS and SGC success story. Because of his hard work and
dedication, Angela Nuga nominated Isaac for the prestigious TRiO Achiever’s
Award, a state-wide award which was given to two former TRiO participants in
Savannah earlier this month. The selection committee recognized Isaac’s
accomplishments; he was one of the two recipients of the award. “That was a
big sigh of relief. It was proof that all the hard work had paid off, and
it’s a testimony that the TRiO program works. I’m honored to be in the
company of past winners, many of whom are in the top of the fields today,”
Isaac will return to Douglas next week to speak at the inauguration of SGC
president Dr. Virginia Carson. “This is the opportunity of a lifetime. It’s
such a privilege to return to campus and speak at Dr. Carson’s
inauguration,” he says.
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About South Georgia College
South Georgia College (www.sgc.edu)
was founded in 1906 and is a two-year institution in the University System
of Georgia. Located in Douglas, Ga., the college's environment gives
students exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close
collaboration with faculty.