Brianna Kelch Named Wiregrass’ Student of the Year

| February 5, 2016


VALDOSTA – Sometimes our unplanned events turn out to the best plans for us. This was true for Brianna Kelch who has been named Wiregrass Georgia Technical College’s 2016 Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) winner. She is a student in the college’s Associate of Science in Nursing program and expects to graduate May 2017.

At the age of 19 Brianna had her life mapped out. She was going to college to earn her degree, then land the perfect job, and of course make lots of money. But, life had a different plan for her. As many do, in college she met her future husband, quickly got engaged, and then found out they were expecting a baby. After the wedding and baby, she continued down her planned educational path but realized she wouldn’t be able to commit due to her new responsibilities. She knew she still wanted to pursue her dream of being a nurse so she started looking at all her options and found Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. “The location was more than satisfactory including the fact that she didn’t have far to drive to attend classes.” She enrolled in the Practical Nursing program even though her heart was set on being an RN. After finishing her core classes and before she could apply for the Practical Nursing program, Wiregrass announced their new Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program. After applying for the ASN program and getting accepted, she and her husband welcomed a baby girl. In addition to studying, attending classes, clinicals and caring for her family, Brianna also works at South Georgia Medical Center as a Patient Care Tech II in the Nursery.

GOAL, a statewide program of the Technical College System of Georgia, honors excellence in academics and leadership among the state’s technical college students. Local GOAL winners are selected at each of the state’s 24 technical colleges as well as one Board of Regents college with a technical education division.

Brianna competed against 20 nominees from Wiregrass’ four campuses in Valdosta, Douglas, Fitzgerald, and Sparks before being named as one of the top four nominees and now college winner. The runners- up were Chad Diamante, Valdosta, Network Information Security; Kenneth Miller, Valdosta/online, Criminal Justice; and Leah Sigmon, Valdosta, Associate of Science in Nursing.

Brianna was nominated by her Psychology Instructor Christine Leclerc- Sherling. “I nominated Brianna as our GOAL representative because she is well equipped for the challenges of the workplace; because she takes responsibility for her academic path, her learning experiences, and her preparation,” shared Leclerc-Sherling.
Kelch will now advance to regional judging in March. In April she will learn if she is one of the nine state finalists. A panel of leaders from the business, industry and government sectors will interview them and choose one to be the 2016 state GOAL winner and the recipient of the GOAL medallion. The grand prize also includes a new car, courtesy of Kia, the statewide corporate sponsor of the GOAL program.

When asked how she felt about being named Wiregrass’ GOAL student of the year Brianna shared this, “Being named the 2016 GOAL winner for Wiregrass Georgia Technical College is such an honor and a blessing. I am grateful and humbled by this journey that I am about to embark on. This is an amazing opportunity to meet many amazing people and to be a role model for other students attending technical colleges in Georgia. I am beyond ecstatic to represent Wiregrass Georgia Technical College.” She plans to pursue her bachelors in Nursing and masters degree in nursing with certification in neonatal nursing.

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