WINTERVILLE, N.C (WNCT) —Pitt Community College hosted junior and senior Black males from Pitt County public high schools May 4-5 for the annual “College Bound, Here We Come!” program.

Organized by the PCC Minority Male Success Initiative (MMSI), the two-day event featured campus tours, words of inspiration and greetings from college personnel, including President Lawrence Rouse and Student Government Association President Mitchell Jeri.

PCC MMSI High School Specialist Jeremiah David said the program offered participants a “holistic experience” to help them understand the importance of higher education. “College Bound is designed to address the goal of increasing the recruitment and enrollment of Black males at PCC by increasing their awareness of the student support services the college has available to help them achieve their career and educational goals,” he said.

 Former PCC MMSI Specialist Justin Fuller was the event’s keynote speaker. He talked to the students about life, preparing for college, and how to rebrand themselves for a fresh start.

 While participating in workshops conducted by PCC Career Services and the college’s TRiO: Educational Opportunity Center, the students learned about career planning, life hacks, and how to succeed in college. Their visit also included an information fair that gave them a chance to interact with representatives from various PCC departments and programs to learn more about the college.

 “The gentlemen from our six public high schools were truly grateful, and left with faith that Pitt Community College does, in fact, educate and empower people for success – and that includes Black males,” said PCC Vice President of Student Support Services Jasmin Spain.

 Started in 2007, College Bound is a part of Pitt’s commitment to removing barriers that make it difficult for Black males to continue pursuing their educational goals beyond high school. Students who participate in the program learn about the college experience and the importance of higher education, as well as the economic and community values associated with both.

   Along with Fuller, the list of previous College Bound speakers includes former NFL player Harold Randolph, N.C. Court of Appeals Judge James A. Wynn Jr., former East Carolina University (ECU) football coaches Ruffin McNeill and Scottie Montgomery, and Abel Sutton, an ECU graduate and professional public speaker.

   A total of 40 Pitt County students took part in this year’s College Bound program.