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January 25--  A native of South Africa is Southeastern Technical College's top student.  Curt Peters was selected from a field of nine nominees Tuesday night during the 2017 "Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership" ceremony on the Vidalia campus.

In 2005 he and his wife arrived at Kennedy Airport in New York with all of their worldly possessions in six suit cases.

"America has been so good to me.  I don't know if I can ever repay that, but I will definitely try.  What you give to the community is what you are going to get out of it to a great extent," he said.

Peters is on the verge of obtaining his Associate of Science degree in Nursing, "I've always cared about people.  My father worked in healthcare.  I never thought I would be able to reach that.  It always seemed unobtainable to me, but that's another thing STC has given me, the ability to reach that dream to work in healthcare.  It's not too lofty a dream for me to reach, it's within my grasp."

"It gave me the opportunity to learn skills and develop talents I didn't know I had.  It gave me the motivation, the support I needed and the love to grow in what I wanted to accomplish," he said.

stcgoal17STC President Larry Calhoun (left) made the presentation and congratulated the finalists for the award including (L-R) Hal Wilson, a former Georgia State Patrol trooper from Swainsboro now studying nursing; GOAL winner Curt Peters; Emily Blanchett, a cosmetology student from Collins and Army veteran Matthew Tracy of Vidalia who plans to become a welder.

The college also named longtime welding instructor Michael Crumpler as its "Teacher of the Year" and his comments will be posted in an upcoming story.