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Standing Tall In The Kitchen: A Military Vet’s Story

Georgia Northwestern’s Sedric Floyd and His New Dreams 
 
 
Culinary students in white uniform using mixing bowls in a kitchen.
“Georgia Northwestern Technical College Culinary Arts student Sedric Floyd of Rome, Georgia adds ingredients to a special muffin recipe he prepared during class at the Woodlee Building on the college’s Floyd County Campus.”

 
(Northwest Georgia)  It was in a ditch in Cartersville, Georgia eight years ago this month when the life of Georgia Northwestern Technical College Culinary Arts student Sedric Floyd would unexpectedly change forever. 
 
It was just after midnight when the United States Air Force veteran was headed for work at Shaw Industries Plant 15. Another vehicle ran a stop sign and collided with Floyd’s motorcycle knocking him unconscious and launching his body more than 90 feet through the air.  
 
After sliding another 40 feet on the ground and into a nearby ditchFloyd would regain consciousness and find part of his left leg lying next to his head. “I could see it,” recalled Floyd. “It just destroyed the left side of my body. The crash completely damaged my nerves on that side.” He would spend the next three weeks in a coma. 
 
“When I was a little kid, I wanted to be a BMX bike rider,” said a smiling Floyd. “I loved doing all the tricks. I especially liked doing the ‘vert’ stuff, like doing the stunts in the air. I loved it.” But after a youth filled with dreams and eight years of military experience that took him around the world, the Northwest Georgia military vet who served as an Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE) mechanic would now have to rebuild his life… and build a new career. 
 
On the night of July 28, 2010, Floyd would be rushed to Atlanta Medical Center. In the months to follow, he would spend time at Emory University Hospital for his wound care, and then another stay at Atlanta Medical Center for rehabilitation. After the disastrous events of that summer, Floyd would finally be able to return home just before Thanksgiving. However, he’d quickly learn that the accident was just part of the battle. 
 
After the wreck and all the rehab, I had PTSD and physical pain to deal with,” said Floyd. “I had to sit in the bariatric chamber at Redmond for months. Three hours a day, four or five days a week, for about two months. It was a process which put my body under high oxygenated pressure to help heal my wounds. At that point, I was just sort of out in the world. I mean, dealing with the loss of a limb. I really felt like I was just hanging on.” 
 
But, Floyd always was able to put on a strong front. A man with strong faith, the 37-year-old says he felt like he knew God had a plan for him. “My friends would always seem proud of me because I wouldn’t get torn up about stuff in life,” said Floyd. “I tried to just keep a smile on my face and make it through. But, my friend, Russell, seemed to know I needed something more.” 
Two culinary students preparing for day in the cooking lab. Both are wearing white uniforms and looking down at countertops.
“Georgia Northwestern Technical College Culinary Arts student Sedric Floyd of Rome, Georgia reads over recipe information. In the background is Wilson’s friend and classmate, Russell Steele.”


Russell Steele of Rome, Georgia is one of Sedric’s close friends. So close, they are now both enrolled in the Georgia Northwestern Technical College Culinary Arts program. “He’s just so good with food,” said Steele. “I knew that something like this program would be perfect for him.” 
 
Last summer, during a visit to Floyd’s Rome, Georgia home, Steele convinced Floyd to apply to Georgia Northwestern. “It had been a long time since I had been in school,” said the Rome High School Class of 1999 graduate. “I went straight into the military out of high school. Going to college was a big step.” After doing exceptionally well in his collegiate placement testing, Floyd joined his friend and enrolled in the Culinary Arts program. 
 
GNTC Culinary Arts instructor Chef Kasey Cromer knew from day one that Floyd would be successful. “Success in the dictionary is defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose,” said Cromer. “This is exactly why Sedric will do well in the culinary field. When he does something, new or familiar, he goes at it with a sense of purpose. He has such a great attitude about it. He lets nothing get in his way. 
 
However, one of the first obstacles for Floyd didn’t come by way of a ladle or a butcher’s knife. “When I first came to class, I came standing up. I was wearing my prosthetic leg,” said Floyd. “However, due to problems with how the prosthetics attach to my particular kind of amputation, it can become incredibly painful to use. That’s when I’ll use the chair.” 
 
Worried about how it would impact him in the classroom, he spoke with the instructors about having to use his chair in the classroom. “Chef Greg (Paulson) and Chef Kasey (Cromer) told me to do whatever it takes to make sure I was in class,” said Floyd. “They said they’d work with me and help me succeed. They just kept telling me that I was doing great. That meant a lot.” 
 
Much like his years of multiple military deployments with the United States Air Force, the Culinary Arts training from Georgia Northwestern has taken Floyd around the world. Learning all about the foods, the recipes, and their preparations from many cultures has inspired Floyd in looking for his career path. 
 
“We recently visited with the people at CalyRoad Creamery in Sandy Springs, Georgia,” said Floyd. “We made our own fresh mozzarella cheese and I really enjoyed that. And, when I got home that day, I made a homemade lasagna with the cheese.”  
Close-up shot of lasagna on formal place setting. Bottle of wine with half-full glass behind the plate.
“After a field trip to a creamery, Georgia Northwestern Technical College Culinary Arts student Sedric Floyd of Rome, Georgia was inspired to make this Italian creation with homemade mozzarella cheese.”
Floyd has many ideas for what he wants to do in the culinary world. The menu and the theme is still up in the air, but he is sure he wants to start his own chain of food trucks. “I’m thinking my trucks will offer customers my recipes of BBQ fused with French or Italian Cuisine,” said Floyd. “I have so many ideas right now. I’m still trying to find myself in what I want to specialize in. Another idea I was considering was an upscale breakfast. Something you would get from at a five-star restaurant, but from a food truck. 
 
Chef Cromer said Floyd also has extra things about him that will make him very special working in the culinary arts. “Things seem to click for him so dexterously, like tasting food to adjust for seasoning, knowing that it may need more or less of something even though that is what a recipe calls for,” said Kromer. “He also is great with his hands. He can fix just about anything. To be able to fix a dish machine, or a mixer, or work on some plumbing issue, he will be the full package when it comes to this business.” 
 
When working with things such as pouring, mixing, and other kitchen procedures requiring use of his left hand, he has some help from a special device. “It’s a glove that forces my hand into an open position,” said Floyd. “The nerve damage from the crash doesn’t allow me to open my fingers together to grab. But, I can close my hand.” The neuropathy Floyd deals with each day can be painful, but you would never know just by looking at him. 
Photo of a white wedding cake with red art and trim work. Photo is taken in a dark room.
“The design and baking of wedding cakes have been among Georgia Northwestern Technical College Culinary Arts student Sedric Floyd’s favorite things to learn. One of Sedric’s creations is shown in this photo taken in the Woodlee Building on the Floyd County Campus.”
He works through the pain without complaint and he’s always in a pleasant mood” said Cromer. “He really impacts the rest of the class in a positive way. It’s really encouraging. It even makes me want to do better and better in my work each day.” Floyd currently lives in Rome, Georgia. He is currently engaged to his fiancéeCarmaneke Crawford. He has three children, Jelisa (16), DaMetrius (14), and Madysin (11).  
 
For more information on Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Culinary Arts program, you can call 866-983-4682. For information online, visit the college at GNTC.edu, as well as on GNTC’s Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, and YouTube channels. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and an equal opportunity institute. 
 
GNTC offers more than 200 programs online and on-campus. Campuses are located in Ringgold (Catoosa County Campus), Rome (Floyd County Campus), Calhoun (Gordon County Campus), Rockmart (Polk County Campus), Rock Spring (Walker County Campus), and Dalton (Whitfield Murray Campus). 
 
Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 16,402 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,750 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 8,652 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution. 

NW Georgia Pros Place At Nationals, Top 10 Finishes

Thirteen students standing in lobby in front of organization's award backdrop. A few of those in the photo are holding their awards.
“Thirteen Georgia Northwestern Technical College Bobcats competed nationally at the Phi Beta Lambda Pro Career Competition at the organization’s National Leadership Conference in Baltimore, Maryland this week. Shown here on Awards Night Tuesday are, front row from left, are Marvin Tomas Gaspar, Byron Campos Gomez, Jesse Gonzalez, Sprite Dyer, Kimberly Glover, Kelly Cook, and Bradley Ramirez. Shown in the back row, from left, are Thomas Scott, Bryan Tapia, Alejandro Cruz, Carlos Miranda, Cynthia Kirk, and Allie Long.”

 

GNTC Career Standouts Shine at Phi Beta Lambda Championships

(Baltimore, MD) – Byron Campos Gomez of Calhoun, Georgia led the way for the Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) Bobcats as they found the awards stage four different times Tuesday night in Baltimore, Maryland. Gomez’ sixth-place finish at the Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) National Competition highlighted the night for GNTC at the career expertise showcase.

Facing the best qualifiers from universities and colleges from across the country, Gomez finished sixth in the “Social Media Challenge” category. Gomez would return to the stage in the team category, “Integrated Marketing Campaign.” Gomez, along with Thomas Scott of Adairsville, Georgia and Kelly Cook of Rome, Georgia, took home an eighth-place finish.

Scott and Cook would each take home a top 10 national finish in two individual competitions. Cook placed ninth in the “Small Business Management Plan” category, while Scott came in 10th in the “Entrepreneurship Concepts” category.

Bradley Ramirez of Dalton, Georgia and Carlos Miranda of Ringgold, Georgia earned a Top 15 finish in the “Human Resource Management” category. GNTC qualified 13 total students for the national competition; qualifying 30 total students over the past three years.

Bobcats who also competed in nationals this week were Alejandro Cruz-Gutierrez of Chatsworth, Georgia; Jesanyelis Gonzalez of Dalton, Georgia; Bryan Tapia of Rome, Georgia; Marvin Tomas Gaspar of Rome, Georgia;  Sprite Dyer of LaFayette, Georgia; Cynthia Kirk of Rockmart, Georgia; Allie Long of Ringgold, Georgia; and Kimberly Glover of Rocky Face, Georgia.

Advisors for the award-winning PBL squad are GNTC’s Dione Waddington, Patty Hart, and Mark Upton. PBL, along with the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), is the largest and oldest student business organization in the nation. Students will participate in more than 55 business and business-related competitive events at the NLC. This year marks the 76th anniversary of the professional skills organizations.

The national competition takes place during PBL’s National Leadership Conference every year. For more information on Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Phi Beta Lambda program, you can call 866-983-4682. For information online, visit the college at GNTC.edu, as well as on GNTC’s Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, and YouTube channels. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and an equal opportunity institute.

GNTC offers more than 200 programs online and on-campus. Campuses are located in Ringgold (Catoosa County Campus), Rome (Floyd County Campus), Calhoun (Gordon County Campus), Rockmart (Polk County Campus), Rock Spring (Walker County Campus), and Dalton (Whitfield Murray Campus).
Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 16,402 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,750 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 8,652 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

GNTC’s Phi Beta Lambda Champs in Maryland

PBL-IFL-2018

(Baltimore, MD) – Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) team spent the weekend in Maryland taking part in the Institute for Leaders (IFL). The GNTC national qualifiers for the PBL professional career competition took part in the IFL before kicking off their contests this week.

Stay tuned to the social media networks of GNTC for the latest on how the Bobcats are performing against the best in the nation in their fields of study.

Georgia Northwestern Runs The Great Race

Watch the official start of The Great Race for GNTC’s Team DeSoto!

Team DeSoto is made up Georgia Northwestern Technical College students Adam Grogan, John Valle, Zayne Waits, Nicholas Barber, and Rodney Parris, director of GNTC’s Automotive Technology program and leader of Team DeSoto.

The Great Race is a rally-style race with vintage vehicles that begins in Buffalo, N.Y., and ends in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Four GNTC Automotive Technology students are participating in the race.

For more information on this event, go to GREATRACE.com.

GNTC’s Culinary Arts Program Offering International Dinners

Faith Smith.JPG
Faith Smith of Calhoun prepares traditional Irish Cuisine for a special “Taste of Ireland” reception and dinner held at GNTC in March.

 

Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) Culinary Arts program is inviting the community to attend special international summer dinners at the Woodley Culinary Arts facility located across from the Floyd County Campus in Rome in late June and early July.

 

The dinner’s inclusive menu price will range between $18 and $22. The pre-fixed menu for each dinner will include choices of appetizers, soups or salads, entrées, and desserts at a set price.

 

The Culinary Arts program is only covering the cost of the groceries purchased to prepare the dinners with the set price. Only cash or personal checks will be accepted.

 

Dinners will be served at three different seating times 5 p.m., 5:45 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. Each seating will be a minimum of 24 patrons and maximum of 30 patrons. All guests should arrive 5-10 minutes before their seating time.

 

Reservations are required and guests will be seated by the Maître d’ upon arrival. To make reservations, contact Chef Greg Paulson at (706) 295-6880.

 

Each dinner will be developed, planned, prepared, and supervised by Culinary Arts students. The dinners will be served by tableside service staff and are not buffets.

 

The dinners will be served on select Tuesday evenings. The following dates and selected cuisine for the upcoming dinners are:

 

  • Tuesday, June 19, French Cuisine

 

  • Tuesday, June 26, Spanish Cuisine

 

  • Tuesday, July 3, Mediterranean Cuisine

 

Menus for each dinner will be posted on www.gntc.edu under “Upcoming Events” closer to the service dates.

 

For reservations or more information, contact Chef Greg Paulson, director of GNTC’s Culinary Arts program, at 706-295-6880.

 

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 16,402 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,750 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 8,652 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  For more information about GNTC, visit us at www.GNTC.edu. The Student Help Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 844-348-7659 or via online chat at https://helpcenter.gntc.edu. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

Walker County High Schoolers Prep For College Life Students, Families Visit GNTC, Walker Launch

(Northwest Georgia) – Walker County Schools and Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) hosted dozens of Northwest Georgia families for a Launch Academy Open House on GNTC’s Walker County Campus Tuesday. Launch Academy is a partnership between GNTC, Walker County Schools, and area business partners to develop a local career academy.

 

Picture shows staffers behind a desk standing and speaking with the mother of a family visiting the open house.
“Jessica Nguyen with Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s High School Initiatives department speaks with one of the families that attended the Launch Academy Open House on May 29 at GNTC’s Walker County Campus.”

 

“I was really struck by the excitement of the students participating and their families,” said Walker County Schools Coordinator of Innovation Matt Harris in regards to the open house. “The parents were obviously extremely proud and the kids were excited to get started.” GNTC and the school system will hold a ribbon-cutting for the Launch Academy on GNTC’s Walker County Campus in August.

Approximately 50 juniors from LaFayette and Ridgeland High Schools will help open the doors on the Launch Academy when the Fall 2018 semester begins at GNTC. Students will be able to take technical courses at Georgia Northwestern four days a week while enrolled in the Launch Academy. Then, on Fridays, special speakers will meet with academy students and instruct them on various soft skills and employability topics. GNTC classrooms in Building 500 on the Walker County Campus are being donated to use for the academy.

“We are just excited about this partnership,” said GNTC Vice President of Student Affairs Stuart Phillips. “It’s not only the schools and the companies that are thrilled about the project, it’s the first students and their families. They had a lot of great questions at the open house and really appear to be looking forward to the fall.” Students and their families in attendance at the Launch Academy Open House got to tour different program facilities, as well as speak with the advisors who would be teaching most of the college courses available to them.

 

College employee walks up a two-story staircase with family of six following behind him.
“Georgia Northwestern Technical College Vice President of Student Affairs Stuart Phillips, far right, gives a quick tour to one of the families that attended the Launch Academy Open House on May 29 at GNTC’s Walker County Campus.”

 

By graduation, students who complete their education at the Launch Academy will have earned not only a high school diploma, but a collegiate technical certificate, diploma, and/or associate’s degree. After the pilot year of the program, Walker County Schools are estimating they will be able to enroll 200 students each year after this from the student body population of Ridgeland and LaFayette High Schools.

A main goal of the Launch Academy is to raise the employment rate of students graduating from the Walker County School System. Corporate partners such as CHI Memorial Hospital, Roper Corporation, and Shaw Industries are investing into the program in hopes of this kind of success. “This, we think, is going to create that one piece we need to connect our kids and move them into jobs, into business and industry,” said Walker County Schools Superintendent Damon Raines to the Walker County Chamber of Commerce at their membership luncheon in April.

Beyond the high school curriculum they will be taking while enrolled in the Launch Academy, students who qualify may choose from a GNTC collegiate program, as well. Welding and Joining Technology, Machine Tool Technology, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Computer Networking, Automotive Technology, Health Care, and Air Conditioning Technology are the main programs students will be considering. However, Launch Academy students may take part in any program at GNTC in which they are eligible to enroll.

While GNTC instructors will be instructing the collegiate programs to the Launch Academy students, school system employees will provide instruction on GNTC’s Walker County Campus towards such courses as Economics, Civics, and English. The Georgia Department of Education will cover the expense of tuition towards dual enrollment courses. Walker County Schools are anticipating covering the costs for supplies. Some of the supplies will also be covered, in part, by the Launch Academy’s business partners.
GNTC offers more than 200 other programs online and on-campus. Campuses are located in Ringgold (Catoosa County Campus), Rome (Floyd County Campus), Calhoun (Gordon County Campus), Rockmart (Polk County Campus), Rock Spring (Walker County Campus), and Dalton (Whitfield Murray Campus).

 
Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 16,402 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,750 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 8,652 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  For more information about GNTC, visit us at www.GNTC.edu. The Student Help Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 844-348-7659 or via online chat at https://helpcenter.gntc.edu. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

What’s Left is What’s Right: Trucking With Dyslexia

Teaching To The Student at GNTC

 

Ashley Petty sits in the cab of a GNTC tractor-trailer while her instructor stands on the ground alongside the open door to the cab.
“Gordon County, Georgia’s Ashley Petty poses from the cab of a Georgia Northwestern Technical College Commercial Truck Driving program tractor-trailer. Standing in the foreground on a hot day at the college’s truck driving facility is Georgia Northwestern Technical College Program Director Robert Browder.”

 

(Northwest Georgia) – Not knowing which way to turn in life is a very common feeling among most adults. Whether it is figuring out how to pay the bills or how to handle raising a child, 32-year-old Ashley Petty knows those struggles all too well.

But for Petty, not knowing which way to turn in life is more than just an expression. It’s a trial that has led to a triumph in earning her Commercial Truck Driving certification at Georgia Northwestern Technical College.

You see, Petty suffers from dyslexia. The disorder makes learning to read, write, interpret symbols, etc… much more difficult than it is for your average college student. It doesn’t affect a person’s intelligence, but it makes cracking the code of everyday life a puzzle all on its own.

“I have what is called directional dyslexia,” said Petty in an interview at the Georgia Northwestern Technical College Commercial Truck Driving facility in Walker County, Georgia. “I had a tough time being able to figure out directions in transportation. If an instructor told me to turn the wheel to the right or left, I really had a problem. I had to find a new way to learn.”

For anyone who has ever attempted to “back-up” a trailer of any size as it is hitched to a pulling vehicle, they know it is a difficult task. Now, Petty was previously a bus driver for a Georgia school system before coming to GNTC. “However, that’s a different thing altogether when you back-up a bus. It isn’t split in the middle,” said Georgia Northwestern Technical College Commercial Truck Driving Program Director Robert Browder. “Manipulating the tractor and the trailer at the same time requires concentration and precision. With Ashley’s dyslexia, she saw this as a major problem to overcome. But, we just realized it meant we simply needed to teach her a little differently.”

Commercial Truck Driving instructions will have drivers make left or right-hand turns, as well as have to back up their trailers in one direction or the other. “I spoke with our Disabilities Services specialists at the college and they helped us think of some great learning techniques,” said Browder. “When we want her to turn the wheel to the right, she immediately knows to turn towards the hand with the ring on it. She now wears a ring on her right hand to remind her. Now, her ring hand is her right hand. She turns towards the ring.”

There are other little short cuts that Petty has learned along the way thanks to her college instructor and her classmates. “I’ve battled dyslexia all my life,” said Petty. “Now, my 10-year-old, Sidney, also lives with it and battles it herself in her classroom, too. However, partly as a result of how I’ve had to learn the hard way, she is now really starting to perform well in school. We simply wouldn’t let her take the easy way out. A good school and patient teachers have made that adjustment an easier one for Sidney at her school and me at mine.”

Before settling down in Gordon County, Georgia, Petty and her daughter lived in Murphy, North Carolina. She says one of her daughter’s teachers in North Carolina really made the struggle hit home for her. “She had a teacher that told us that if she can’t learn it the way she’s teaching it, she’d never learn it,” said Petty. “I told her how that’s not true. Sometimes, you have to teach something a little differently for particular students. Not all students learn in the same way.”

“What we found was that Gordon County has plenty of teachers who have been learning to work with children with all kinds of learning disabilities,” said Petty. “As a result, she is now right at her grade level in areas she had previously been struggling with before coming to the new school.”

As a student of Tolbert Elementary, her daughter is getting care and instruction she personally never got to enjoy when she was young. With more than 700 students at Tolbert Elementary, it is nearly five times the size of her last school in North Carolina. “The school may be larger, but the teachers at Tolbert have really taken the time with Sidney to help her learn how to succeed academically.”

Now, Commercial Truck Driver-to-be Ashely Petty may have received similar care and instruction at Georgia Northwestern, however, when she was a child, life experience alone taught her quickly she would learn in her own way. Originally from Cobb County, Georgia, her biological parents separated when she was only four years old. Her mother would die four years later. She then bounced from group home to group home before ever having a chance of being adopted. From being a troubled teen and being relocated to state youth facilities to going through the adoption process at 13-years-old, Petty learned early that things were simply different for her. She learned that things would never come easy.

“My adopted mother noticed I had signs of dyslexia in high school,” said Petty. “I could figure out the answer to questions. However, I couldn’t prove it on paper. I was inverting numbers whenever I did math problems.”

A 2007 graduate of Fannin County High School in Blue Ridge, Georgia, Petty wasn’t sure what kind of career her future would hold. After graduation, she worked several different jobs, never really gaining any traction in any of them. So, after more than a decade of dealing with foster families, her troubled teen years, and a struggle just to survive high school and now life, she knew she didn’t want the same thing for her daughter.

“Now, while in college, I made myself work harder,” said Petty. “My boyfriend is a diesel mechanic. There were times where when he was working a commercial truck yard, I would come to visit and I would get the chance to get into the cab of a tractor-trailer. With me driving a stick-shift car, working a manual transmission in a tractor-trailer felt pretty natural to me.” Once she took her first drive around the truck yard, Petty was hooked.

Today, just one class away from having a two-year Associate’s Degree, Petty is looking to a brighter future for her and her little family. But, it’s a future that has roots in the past. It turns out after meeting her biological family over the past few years, she learned her biological grandfather was a truck driver. As well, several other members of her family had long-hauls down the highways on a regular basis, themselves.

Now in 2018, Petty is looking for close-to-home options for a commercial truck driving opportunity which will allow her to hit the open road. “I’ve spoken with some local companies just recently and hope to hear from them, soon,” said Petty. “But, I really need to be close to home for my girl. I’m proud of the opportunities I’m now facing, but I want to be able to help my daughter get a jump start on life that was almost impossible for me to have when I was young.”

GNTC offers more than 200 other programs online and on-campus. Campuses are located in Ringgold (Catoosa County Campus), Rome (Floyd County Campus), Calhoun (Gordon County Campus), Rockmart (Polk County Campus), Rock Spring (Walker County Campus), and Dalton (Whitfield Murray Campus).
Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 16,402 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,750 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 8,652 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  For more information about GNTC, visit us at www.GNTC.edu. The Student Help Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 844-348-7659 or via online chat at https://helpcenter.gntc.edu. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

Summer Semester Starts Soon

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