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SGTC’s ‘Light Up Your Future’ event a bright success

AMERICUS — “Bigger, brighter, and better.” Those were some of the words used to describe South Georgia Technical College’s (SGTC) second “Light Up Your Future” event that brought over 1,000 individuals to the illuminated campus and its programs of study. The event was held in Gailey Park on the SGTC Americus campus and each program area was represented in the creative event that promoted the outstanding education and extra-curricular activities offered by South Georgia Tech.
“We wanted to do something fun and creative to promote what South Georgia Technical College has to offer in the way of outstanding educational opportunities,” said SGTC President John Watford, Ed.D. “We also wanted to give back to the community by hosting an event that would be fun as well as informative. This is the second year that we have sponsored this event. This was an excellent way for the community to come out and meet the instructors, see the programs offered, find out the process of getting into college, and actually see how simple it is to fill out an application,” explained Watford.

John Watford is shown at left in front of a John Deere tractor with SGTC John Deere agricultural technology instructor Matthew Burks and Jayson Everett and his family as well as SGTC board member Jake Everett and his wife Margie. Jake is a two-time graduate of SGTC in mechanical technology and computer information systems and his son Jayson, graduated with a degree in computer information systems as well. They recently endowed a scholarship in memory of their daughter, Rose Ann Everett.

SGTC President John Watford and his wife, Barbara are shown above with Santa at the SGTC Light Up Your Future event.

The showcase of programs and beautiful light displays were only second to the enthusiastic sprint of the South Georgia Tech family, students, and community members who came out to enjoy the event. I hope the community enjoyed the event and also learned more about the great educational opportunities that are offered here and in Cordele,” said Watford.
Each of the individual program divisions such as transportation, personal services, business and computers, and industrial and technical programs were transformed into amazing light displays that highlighted different career opportunities. The SGTC Lady Jets also put up a display along with the different clubs and organizations on campus that students can participate in.
Children’s inflatable slides and games, Santa Claus, musical groups, give-a-ways, and more were all a part of the celebration. The college also waived the $25 application fee to anyone who applied for the Spring Semester which begins Jan. 10. Students may come in before that date and apply, test, and register as part of a one-stop application process. SGTC will also host another registration and orientation session on Jan. 8.
In the transportation area, the Caterpillar heavy equipment program outlined the large Caterpillar equipment in Christmas lights. The John Deere agricultural technology program did the same thing with its large tractors and diesel and commercial truck driving featured one of the 18-wheel rigs lighted as well as huge motors from the three diesel areas. SGTC’s electrical lineworker bucket truck held a star high above the scene to light the way to the park.
The automotive programs had a car decked out with lights being pulled by reindeer and Santa’s sleigh. The aviation programs had a small plane wrapped in colorful lights. SGTC’s Aaron’s Rents race car was also centrally featured for the motorsports program. Fire science was helping Santa from the tree where his sleigh crashed and the law enforcement and criminal justice team had a display with the Grinch locked up behind bars.
The business and computer programs had their programs areas set up with lights and holiday wrapping. Adult education featured a huge map of Georgia encouraging students to make the right choice to continue their education. The health and personal services group had an elf hospital area with lights and different nursing and medical assisting students featured in Christmas attire. The cosmetology group also showcased their wares in bright lights.
The air conditioning group featured a refrigerated snow man and culinary arts had a display of gingerbread houses that the students had made and decorated as well as a cookie and gourmet hot chocolate bar. The SGTC O’Dea helped man the station for culinary arts.
Santa was on hand for photos with the children and WISK-FM did a live remote. The Americus-Sumter High Chorus, Lakebay Taylor, the Macon County High School band students, and Travis Tyson (DJ and sound) provide music throughout the night.
Blow-up games, give-a-ways, lighted toys, cookies, candy, hot chocolate, and more were all part of the outstanding night held especially for the community to enjoy.
“This was an outstanding event and we hope that the community enjoyed the lights and learned more about the opportunities available at South Georgia Technical College,” said Watford
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