Scholarship initiative brings opportunity for Aiken Tech students

AIKEN, SC (WRDW/WAGT) – In South Carolina, a new initiative is sending more than $17 million to the state’s art schools, with Governor Henry McMaster calling for an additional $124 million on the way. That includes Aiken Tech, where money will go to students in high-demand fields such as construction, manufacturing, and healthcare.

The list of eligible programs ranges from welding to medical coding and even HVAC certifications. If you are delaying further your education, we have been told it is time to do so. We spoke to a student at a local technical college who said she was happy to join the line.

Grace Adelis hopes to be one of the approximately 15,000 students receiving a scholarship through the new McMaster Workforce Scholarships program.

“It really is a great opportunity for people and for students like me. The lower the burden, the more encouraged you are to go to school,” she said.

Getting here was not easy. An immigrant from the Philippines – her story back home enabled her to practice nursing.

My sister died of chronic kidney disease. She was not able to go to the hospital, she was afraid to have dialysis. Adelis said.

Nursing is just one of many programs that have funds available. We are told that most programs at Aiken Tech apply to new scholarship funds.

“After we apply other aid, we will apply this funding, which will, on average, save an Aiken Tech student about $2,000 if they bear a full burden,” said Vinson Burdett, Aiken Tech vice president for academic and student affairs.

The Big Picture – Classroom scholarships here are meant to help solve a bigger problem.

“We have what many refer to as a skills gap in South Carolina. We have high-paying jobs, and a lot of them are in demand, and we don’t have enough people to fill those jobs.

Paving the way for people to get practical training. People like Grace, who does everything in memory of her sister.

“Now I work on dialysis, I want to become a dialysis nurse and be able to educate people about the importance of health,” Adelis said.

So those dollars, and that education, turns the page on something bigger than labor shortages.

There are some basic requirements to be able to qualify. You must maintain at least a 2.0 point average, and must either be employed, complete 100 hours of community service, or take a technical college financial literacy test.

In order to apply for the scholarship, the first step applies to Aiken Technical College. If you are currently a student interested in applying, visit https://www.atc.edu/workforcescholarships for a complete list of eligible programs for students.

Copyright 2021 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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