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Extreme Home Makeover

HGTC Scholarship for 2007 Extreme Home Makeover Star

HGTC fulfills promise of full-tuition scholarship for RJ Pearl.

(Conway, SC) 09/23/2019

RJ Pearl

When ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition aired in 2007, Rashaad Juwan “RJ” Pearl may have only been six-years-old but, he was one of four Wilson family grandchildren featured in the television show as living in his grandmother’s run-down trailer located in Longs, SC. His grandmother, Natalie Wilson, was realizing her dream of providing a safe home with more security for her grandchildren.

What the television audience didn't see was all of the generous support the family received from the surrounding community. As the design team was constructing their new home and changing their lives on a national stage, Horry-Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) leadership was making a pledge to change their lives in the future. It was through retired President Neyle Wilson’s decision to present each grandchild with full-tuition scholarships to attend HGTC that a different kind of makeover would happen 12 years later. RJ, a 2019 Myrtle Beach High School graduate, is working toward his own dream and studying Culinary Arts at the HGTC International Culinary Institute of Myrtle Beach.

He remembers the home where he lived before the makeover construction transformed their humble living conditions. Attending HGTC is something he’s been planning for years.

RJ Pearl Cooking
RJ Pearl cooking with Chef Professor, Bill Twaler.

“I have always enjoyed watching my grandmother and mother cook. It has been my goal to attend HGTC to achieve my Culinary Arts degree so I can one day begin my career as a professional chef,” exclaimed RJ.

HGTC Chef Bill Twaler, CEC MSE is one of the master chef professors at the International Culinary Institute of Myrtle Beach and, RJ Pearl is having the privilege of studying in his kitchen first semester. He said, “RJ is a happy, energetic student that is growing with the program and has the potential to be a great chef and restaurant owner someday.”

RJ is just getting started on his HGTC journey but the College will cover his full-tuition, books, and supplies for each semester.

“HGTC is proud to support students like RJ through various scholarships and tuition assistance programs,” said Dr. Marilyn Murphy Fore, HGTC President. “This is one example of how our quality education programs are able to change the lives of students in a short period of time.”

President Fore and the HGTC family looks forward to seeing RJ achieve his goals and make his dream a reality.

“My ultimate goal is to one day own and manage a restaurant of my own. I am grateful that HGTC would be able to provide the financial support and scholarship to make my dream possible,” continued RJ.

RJ Pearl & Chef Twaler