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HGTC Student Spotlight

Horry-Georgetown Technical College

Meet our HGTC Spotlight Student

Each month, the Student Spotlight features some of the amazing work being done by students at HGTC in different programs throughout the  College.

William Vaught: Cybersecurity student at HGTC!

William has had a curiosity about computers since a very young age.  While growing up not only did he become fascinated with video gaming and design but he also learned several things from his mother who worked in computer science.  He got away from that passion while serving in the Armed Forces, but was able to get back into the field here at HGTC. 

William grew up in Horry County and was already familiar with Horry-Georgetown Technical College when he began researching schools.  The convenience and program offerings made enrolling an easy decision.  He is taking advantage of the flexible hours and is currently enrolled in both the Computer Programming and Cybersecurity programs.  William is also working as a Work Study student to help gain experience in IT around campus. 

The growing need for cybersecurity experts will give William the opportunity to be employed in several different fields locally or around the country, and he looks forward to what is to come.

Congratulations, William, for being chosen as June’s spotlight student!

Alex Todd: Civil Engineering Technology student at HGTC!

Alex always knew that he enjoyed building and creating things, but he didn’t always know how those interests would translate into a fulfilling career.  He researched educational and career opportunities in the area and quickly discovered that Horry-Georgetown Technical College was the right choice for him. 

Alex is currently taking advantage of one of the multiple transfer opportunities that HGTC has to offer.  He plans to finish his Associate’s Degree in Civil Engineering Technology then transfer those credits to a 4-year university where he will obtain his Bachelor’s Degree and be eligible for higher paying job in the field.

Alex is a firm believer that if you put your mind to it and give it your all, you can and will succeed.  He owes his own achievements to hard work, his family and the professors here at HGTC. 

Congratulations, Alex, for being chosen as May’s Student Spotlight!

Jill Dail: Culinary Arts Technology Student at HGTC!

As a child, Jill spent a lot of time in the kitchen with her parents experimenting with recipes and trying unique foods.  This helped to spark a passion for cooking in Jill and would eventually lead to her starting her own cupcake business at the age of sixteen.  The business was a huge success and Jill knew she had a future in Culinary Arts.

Jill began to research culinary programs in the southeast and spent one spring break visiting several colleges.  She soon decided Horry-Georgetown Technical College was the perfect fit for her because of the new state of the art facility and the affordable tuition.  Jill was also excited to learn she could get a degree in Culinary Arts Technology as well as a certificate in Baking and Pastry Arts, both of which she is passionate about.

Upon graduation, Jill hopes to get a few years additional work experience before opening up her own restaurant.  She would also like to keep her cupcake business open and thriving.  Jill’s advice to new HGTC is to get as involved as possible around campus and to always have confidence in your work!

Congratulations, Jill, for being chosen as HGTC’s April Spotlight Student!

Joseph Dabrowski: PACE student at HGTC!

The PACE program at Horry-Georgetown Technical College offers opportunities for high-school juniors and seniors, as well as private and home-schooled students, to get a head start on college courses.  Upon hearing about PACE, Joseph immediately decided to take advantage and enrolled in a college level Calculus course his senior year of high school.  He knew that this would be a great way to give him a better chance of getting into his ideal 4-year university.

Joseph’s base high school, Conway Christian School, provided him with the HGTC application and information needed to enroll.  He then visited campus and was able to sign up for the class he wanted. Joseph admits that while PACE classes are more difficult than high school, they are boosting his GPA and saving him money down the road.

Joseph has currently been accepted into several colleges around the country and looks forward to a career in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering.  He accredits his college preparedness not only to the positive challenges PACE offered but also to taking a class on an actual college campus.  Joseph highly recommends the PACE program to any high school student looking for a great way to jump start their educational future.

Congratulations, Joseph, on being chosen as HGTC’s March Student Spotlight!

Ashleigh Chaney: Pharmacy Technician student at HGTC!

Ashleigh chose Horry-Georgetown Technical College’s Pharmacy Technician program not only for the reasonable cost, but also because she knew she would be employed in her field within a few short semesters.  She hopes to get her foot in the door with a hospital and then continue her education while working the flexible hours of a Pharmacy Technician.

Ashleigh owes her success at HGTC mainly to the support of her family.  She also enjoys the small classrooms sizes and the fact that she gets one on one time with her professors. She feels like they go above and beyond to make sure her questions are answered and she feels comfortable with her abilities in the lab.

Ashleigh’s advice to new students is to take your program seriously and to continuously study.  She believes you will succeed as long as you know the hard work you put in now is for the benefit of your future.

Congratulations, Ashleigh, on being chosen as HGTC’s February Spotlight Student!

Kimberly Smith: HVAC/R student at HGTC!

Kimberly recently decided to go back to school in search of a more stable career to support her family.  She began to research growing career fields in her area, and quickly decided she was a great candidate for the HVAC/R program at Horry-Georgetown Technical College. 

Kimberly was not only drawn here for the low cost and convenient class schedules, but also because of the job placement rate of HGTC’s graduating students.  Her professors have worked in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration fields and ensured her that if she works hard, she will be employed upon completion of the program. 

Kimberly hopes to go to work as a technician making a steady salary immediately after graduation.  She then plans to move up in the industry and to eventually even own her own HVAC/R company with employees working for her. 

Congratulations, Kimberly, for being chosen at HGTC’s January Spotlight Student!


Nataliia Prilutckaia: International Student at HGTC!

Nataliia decided to return to the United States and enroll in HGTC after a positive experience during a work and travel program in North Myrtle Beach a few years ago.  She enjoyed her time on the Grand Strand and was very excited to learn she could enroll in school as an International Student here at Horry-Georgetown Technical College.  

After receiving a degree in finance back home in St. Petersburg, Russia, Nataliia decided it was not right for her.  She was more interested in helping people through means of healthcare, so when considering returning to school Nursing was an easy choice.  Natalia is currently enrolled as an Associates of Science major but will begin the HGTC Nursing Program in the spring.

When Nataliia finishes her schooling and internship in the United States she will return to Russia to help improve the healthcare system back home.

Congratulations, Nataliia, for being chosen as November’s Spotlight Student!  


Taylor Clark: Cosmetology student at HGTC!

Taylor has been surrounded with the world of Cosmetology from a very young age.  Her mother, sister, grandmother and aunt have all worked as Cosmetologists so it was an easy choice for Taylor to follow in her family’s footsteps here at HGTC!

Taylor chose Horry-Georgetown Technical College because of the low cost, convenient location and friendly faculty members.  During her first visit to the campus she met with Mary Cox, the director of the program, and was ready to sign for the Cosmetology Program that day!  Taylor felt a warm sense of community and knew she could see herself a part of the HGTC family. 

Taylor accredits her success at HGTC to her classmates.  She relies on them for support both in and outside of the classroom, and looks forward to friendships that will last long past graduation.  They enjoy learning new hairstyles and techniques together, and pushing each other to be better students and better people.

Congratulations, Taylor, for being chosen as October’s Spotlight Student!


Courtney Capps: Paralegal Specialist Student at HGTC!

Growing up, Courtney spent her summers with her aunt who worked as a legal secretary at the local courthouse.  It was here she fell in love with the legal field and knew she would one day work in a similar setting.  After completing her Bachelor’s Degree in English, Courtney decided to continue her education at HGTC when she learned of the American Bar Association certified Paralegal Specialist Program.  

Courtney enjoys having class in the mock courtroom on the Grand Strand Campus because she is becoming familiar with the courtroom setting.  She continues to be inspired by her professors and their years of experience working in the field.  She looks forward to spending time in a real law firm during her required Paralegal internship.

Courtney attributes her success in school to her supportive family and classmates.  The closeness of her fellow Paralegal students helps them all to excel academically and have fun! 

 Congratulations, Courtney, for being chosen as HGTC’s September Spotlight Student!


Anthony Velazquez: Associate in Arts Business Transfer Student at HGTC!

Anthony’s decision to study business was inspired at a young age from watching his father run his own successful business.  After leaving home and receiving a degree from a school in Nashville, Anthony returned to Horry County to continue his education in the Business Transfer Program here at HGTC.  He had friends who attended the school and knew it would be an affordable and convenient choice for him. 

Anthony chose this major because he plans to transfer to Coastal Carolina University and finish his Bachelor’s Degree.  When his education is complete, he will focus on building his clothing and shoe line, of which a portion of the proceeds will go to help individuals with mounting medical expenses. 

Anthony suggests to new students, “Sit in the front of the class and form a relationship with your professors, you never know when you will need their help!”

Congratulations, Anthony, for being chosen at HGTC’s August Spotlight Student!


Nickii Thomas: Early Care and Education Student at HGTC!

From a very young age Nickii always knew that she wanted to become a teacher.  As she grew older and began to explore her options, it became clear that HGTC was right for her.  She was able to find the program she was looking for and professors that had the same passion she had for education. 

Nickii loves the Early Care and Education program because of the camaraderie she and her fellow students have as a group.  They have become like a family and helped each other every step of their academic journey at HGTC. 

As a student of Early Care and Education, Nickii received an internship at a local daycare center and has since gained fulltime employment.  She credits this to her professors, who have the knowledge and connections to get their students where they need to be by graduation.

Congratulations, Nickii, for being chosen as June’s Spotlight Student!


Neil Adams: Electrical Lineman student at HGTC!

Neil made the decision to go back to school to further his career when his family began to grow.  As a new father, he wanted to make sure he would always be able to support his children with a steady profession that he truly enjoyed.  Neil saw a commercial for the Electrical Lineman Certificate Program at HGTC, and knew it would be the perfect fit for him.  

This program was appealing to Neil because of the current job openings in this area, as well as the income and benefits that Electrical Lineman can receive.  HGTC has provided him with the hands on knowledge he needs to be job-ready after just one semester of class.

Upon completion of the Electrical Lineman Program, Neil plans to seek employment locally with Santee Cooper or Horry Electric. 

Congratulations, Neil, for being chosen as May’s Spotlight Student!


Jeff Elmore: Culinary Arts Student at HGTC! 

Jeff was initially drawn to the culinary world because of both his mother and grandmother.  Some of his favorite childhood memories include them cooking southern cuisine in their family kitchen in Charleston, South Carolina.  When he decided he would attend HGTC, Jeff knew he was doing the right thing to help further his career opportunities in the long run.

One of Jeff’s favorite things about the Culinary Program at HGTC is how hands on it is throughout each semester.  He gets to spend most of his time in the kitchen with other students who love to do the same thing he does- cook!  

Jeff plans to move back to Charleston once he completes his degree and hopes to one day teach Culinary Arts.  He would also like to own his own food truck after he gets some restaurant experience in the area.  His advice to students would be to keep your eyes, ears, but more importantly your taste buds open to new things on your path to becoming a successful individual.

Congratulations, Jeff, for being chosen as April’s Spotlight Student!


Naomi Martin: Associates in Arts Student at HGTC!


Naomi made the decision to go back to school one night when she was helping her children with their homework.  They discussed short stories, books, speeches and life experiences, and she decided teaching was something she could see herself doing as a career.  

She was already familiar with HGTC from some alumni she had encountered, but what sold Naomi was the convenience of the three campuses and the student services they had to offer.  She has taken full advantage of the SSTC, or Student Success and Tutoring Center.  As a student returning after several years out of school, she enjoys having the extra help when it is needed.

Naomi plans to transfer to Coastal Carolina University after she completes the Associate in Arts program at HGTC.  There she will continue for her Bachelor’s Degree in Education and hopes to become a middle or high school English teacher. 

Congratulations, Naomi, for being chosen as March’s Spotlight Student! 


Zachery Klingler: Emergency Medical Technology student at HGTC!

When Zach began looking for educational opportunities he was brand new to the area.  Friends recommended HGTC, and he quickly found the EMT program and knew it was what he had been looking for.

Zach was drawn to the EMT profession because of the ever-changing days and excitement that goes along with the job.  He is hoping to be able to make a difference and even save lives once he is working in the field.  Horry Georgetown Tech is helping prepare him for that with state of the art equipment and professors that truly care about their students. 

Upon completion of the EMT Associate Degree, Zach plans to continue on in the Paramedic Certificate program at HGTC and become a nationally registered EMT-Paramedic.   His advice to students is, “Ninety percent of the battle is showing up with the right attitude.  If you come to class ready to learn, HGTC can make the rest happen.”

Congratulations, Zach, for being chosen as February’s Spotlight Student!


Dylan Willocks: Machine Tool student at HGTC! 

Dylan has always enjoyed the ability to create new things, so he knew a hands-on educational program would be right for him.  HGTC’s Machine Tool Associates Degree has given him the opportunity to work with different design methods and thrive in a quickly expanding field. 

Growing up in the area, Dylan was already familiar with HGTC but was told about Machine Tool by his high school guidance counselor.  As he excelled in academics, he quickly earned an apprenticeship with Peddinghaus as a part of his curriculum.  This hands-on experience has given him the confidence he needs to find successful employment as a machine tool operator.

Upon graduation, Dylan hopes to find full-time employment at one of the industry’s leaders in the southeast. 

Congratulations, Dylan, for being chosen as January’s Spotlight Student!


Ryan Smith: Forestry student at HGTC!

Ryan’s interest in Forestry began when he was a boy and grew as he worked for his family’s logging business as a young man.  When he decided he wanted to go back to school, HGTC seemed like an obvious choice.  It was the only technical college in North or South Carolina that had exactly what Ryan was looking for, and not too far from home.

Ryan has enjoyed the Forestry Program thoroughly because it is very hands on and practical.  He credits his success to the involvement and helpfulness of the professors and his own willingness to ask questions.  He feels as though he will leave the program ready to take on whatever challenges may come his way in the workforce.

Upon completion at HGTC, Ryan plans to pursue a Finance degree at Coastal Carolina University.  He will then be prepared to work with timber and land investments in North and South Carolina.

Congratulations, Ryan, for being chosen as December’s Spotlight Student!


Cynthia Douglas:  Massage Therapy Student at HGTC

Cynthia’s interest in Massage Therapy began with her passion for holistic healing and working with the human body. HGTC was an easy choice because of all the positive feedback she heard from family, friends and the community.

The Massage Therapy program has given Cynthia the ability to help improve someone’s overall well-being simply through the power of touch; 100% natural, no medication needed. It has also made her job-ready, and she plans to work at a spa once she completes her certification. Her long term dream is to go on to acupuncture school and one day travel the world with a portable massage table.

Cynthia credits her success to her peers in the Massage Therapy program. Working together has pushed them to try new techniques and progress at a high rate. She would encourage students to stay focused and to set new goals monthly.

Congratulations, Cynthia for being chosen as HGTC’s November Spotlight Student!


Nathan Briggs: Aviation Maintenance Student at HGTC!

Nathan began his journey at HGTC by simply wanting to explore new careers. He discovered the Aviation Maintenance Program and quickly became not only interested but inspired!

For Nathan, working with airplanes is doing the impossible because everything in aviation is counter-intuitive. He explains that while it seems like it shouldn't work, it does, and now he understands the physical and mathematical properties behind aviation.

Nathan chose HGTC because of the relationship with the Pittsburg Institute of Aeronautics. He will complete his associate’s degree in two more semesters and hopes to find a job that challenges him upon graduation. Nathan’s long term goals include becoming a college professor so he can continue to inspire others to learn.

His advice to fellow students is, “Never give up and never stop learning. Start today, and take full advantage of the tutors!”

Congratulations, Nathan for being chosen as HGTC’s October Spotlight Student!


Holly Dozier: Sports Tourism Student at HGTC

Holly began playing sports at the early age of eight and quickly knew that she would always be involved in athletics in some capacity. She played basketball and softball growing up and continues to coach a softball team for the City of Myrtle Beach today.

The Sports Tourism Program at HGTC was an easy decision for Holly because it prepares her to work in a field she is passionate about. She has had the opportunity to have a paid internship that she loves, and is confident that she will continue to enjoy her work for years to come.

Holly attributes her success to the professors she has encountered while at HGTC. Their real world experience has prepared her to be job-ready upon graduation.

Holly hopes to open her own indoor sports facility in the future.

Congratulations, Holly for being chosen as HGTC’s September Spotlight Student!


Luke Jackson: Digital Arts[BROKEN LINK] Student at HGTC

Luke has always been an artistic person and decided early on that Digital Arts would be a good fit for him. HGTC has given him the opportunity to work on real-world graphic design projects and learn more about advanced software that is used in the field. Luke attributes his success at HGTC to the professors as well as the small classroom sizes. He believes each professor he has encountered has been knowledgeable and willing to do all they can to ensure he succeeds.

Luke’s biggest tip to students is, “Do not procrastinate, and most of all just take everything and everyone seriously and try your best!”

Luke currently feels equipped to work as a videographer, photographer or graphic designer, but plans to transfer to Coastal Carolina University to complete his Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design.

Congratulations, Luke for being chosen as HGTC’s August Spotlight Student!

Alyssa Sawyer
:Criminal Justice Technology and Crime Scene Investigation student at HGTC!

Alyssa grew up solving jigsaw puzzles and began to think of crime as a jigsaw puzzle. Her family members serve in various law enforcement divisions which has inspired her to pursue an education in criminal justice.

Alyssa credits her success at HGTC to the professors having real-world experiences and the modern utilized in the labs here on campus. Her favorite experience in the program thus far has been studying blood stain patterns as well as processing a full crime scene on campus.

Her tips for new students are “get to know your professors and utilize your time management skills!”

After graduation from HGTC, Alyssa hopes to obtain a position in local law enforcement and work within the Juvenile Justice System which will allow her to give back to the community.

Congrats, Alyssa for being chosen as our June Spotlight Student!

Check out Alyssa on Instagram


Matt AndradeConstruction Management Technology student at HGTC!

Matt was inspired by his Dad and Uncle at a very young age. He grew up watching and helping them work on projects around their homesHGTC was an attractive choice for Matt's educational plans because the cost of attendance is affordable!

Matt credits his success at HGTC to the professors for having real-world experiences in the field they are teaching, the hands-on opportunities for students inside and outside of the classroom, and the relatable technology provided by HGTC. His favorite experience thus far in the program at HGTC has been going off campus to assist the Habitat for Humanity in building new homes!

His tips for new students are “get involved in ANY on and off campus clubs and events!”

After graduation from HGTC, Matt plans to continue his education at a 4-year university to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management. His career plans are to land a job as a Project Estimator or Scheduler and eventually open his own business as a General Contractor.

Congrats, Matt for being chosen as our May Spotlight Student!

Check out Matt on Instagram


Sophia Pinkas: Culinary Arts Technology student at HGTC!

April Spotlight

Sophia was inspired by Emeril Lagasse; the famous American Celebrity Chef and chose to pursue a degree in Culinary Arts because “It is more than just cooking, it’s Art and Science.” She loves working with her hands and being able to apply her creativity to her dishes. Sophia was a student in the  Early College High School Program, and was very familiar with HGTC campus life. She says she chose HGTC because of the smaller class size as well as the cost of attendance.

Sophia credits her success at HGTC to the professors for both support and constructive criticism, the presence of the administrative staff. She is also appreciative of the opportunities provided to students provided to students outside of the classroom.

Her tips for new students are “take advantage of the advising process and networking with all the instructors you encounter!”

After graduation from HGTC, Sophia plans to open her own “Southern Cooking” restaurant. 

Congrats Sophia for being chosen for our April Spotlight Student!

Check out Sophia on Instagram



Jacey Bellars: Business Transfer student at HGTC!

spotlight march

After working for a business who taught her some basic accounting skills, Jacey decided that she would like to pursue a career in Accounting. She loves accounting, it is her FAVORITE class. She says most people think that Accounting is math, and although it is, she likes to look at is as one big puzzle that she arranges the pieces back together. Jacey chose HGTC because not only did she feel as if she could save herself some money, but she felt less intimidated in a community college environment. 

Jacey credits her success at HGTC to her supportive family especially her daughter who helps her study, her employer for the ongoing support and, the HGTC faculty members who are readily available to answer her questions without having an appointment.

Her tips for new students are “utilize all the resources that are available to you and don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek help when needed."

After graduation from HGTC, Jacey plans to attend Coastal Carolina University where she has already been accepted, and major in Accounting with a CMA emphasis. Her ideal position upon completion of her degree will be as a Hospital Administrator. She also plans to continue her education and pursue her MBA.

Jacey was nominated by the entire Business Department who said…
“She is a perfect example of one of our bright stars in the Business Program”

Congrats Jacey for being chosen for our March Student Spotlight!

Check out Jacey on Instagram



Lauren Jackson:  LPN to ADN Transition student at HGTC!

February Student Spotlight

Lauren moved to Myrtle Beach from South Florida with her family 8 years ago and chose to attend HGTC after realizing her love for the medical field and her desire to become a Nurse. She is already a graduate of HGTC from the LPN program, but wanted to continue her education to earn her Associate’s Degree and to obtain her RN credential. Upon earning her RN credential, she will be able to work in most medical facilities as a Registered Nurse.

Lauren credits her success at HGTC to the ever helpful professors, the SIM labs, and the hands-on experiences taught by the clinical instructors.

 Her tips for new students are “don’t become overwhelmed, put forth your full effort, have a healthy balance between work, school, and family life, and last but not least be able to compromise!”

After graduation from HGTC, Lauren hopes to land a position in a local hospital and then plans to go on and pursue her BSN and MSN and eventually become a Nurse Practitioner. 

Lauren was nominated by the Nursing faculty who said…
“She did an excellent job, worked very hard, and had an awesome attitude”

Congrats Lauren for being chosen for our February Student Spotlight!

Check out Lauren on Instagram

Jacob Satterfield: Advanced Welding Student at HGTC!

January Spotlight Student

Jacob chose to attend HGTC after realizing that he wanted a career in a trade profession. Jacob credits his success to great professors and state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.

His tips for new students are to “take the advice from your instructors, take advantage of the time you have in the classroom, and ALWAYS wear your safety glasses!”

After graduation from HGTC, Jacob hopes to land a position as a travel welder where he can use his newly refined skills on-the-go!

Congrats Jacob for being chosen for our January Student Spotlight!

Check out Jacob on Instagram