Clarkesville, GA — Deitra Gray, a North Georgia Technical College early childhood care and education student from Toccoa, Ga., was named a regional finalist for the Georgia Occupational Award for Leadership (GOAL) competition of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG).
Gray, NGTC’s GOAL winner for the 2019-20 academic year, recently learned of her selection as a regional finalist at a virtual awards announcement on August 19. She is one of three finalists from the North region of technical colleges and will advance to the next round of competition in September.
“I was truly honored when my name was revealed as one of the top nine regional finalists across the state,” said Gray. “Being the GOAL winner at NGTC has meant so much to me. One thing I keep going back to is that I never imagined I would be nominated and selected for something like this. Being able to share my personal story, and knowing that it could encourage someone else, is a blessing. Having this opportunity and experience has opened my eyes to all that technical education has to offer. I’ve come to realize just how significant the Technical College System of Georgia truly is for all people. No matter your financial situation or where you are in life, there are various opportunities and benefits for everyone.”
GOAL candidates are nominated by an instructor and must maintain a least a 3.0 GPA and demonstrate strong work ethics and leadership skills. This statewide award program of the Technical College System of Georgia actually was started at NGTC in the early 1970s and continues to honor excellence in academics and leadership among the state’s technical college students today. Local GOAL winners are selected at each of the state’s 22 technical colleges.
“As I was watching live on August 19th, I had complete confidence that TCSG Commissioner Greg Dozier would call Deitra’s name as a finalist,” said NGTC Early Childhood Care and Education Instructor Angie Minish, who nominated Gray for the leadership award. “Deitra exemplifies excellence in Technical Education through academic excellence and personal achievement. I am so very proud of Deitra for being selected as a regional GOAL finalist.”
“We are thrilled for Deitra and celebrate this wonderful accomplishment with her,” said NGTC Vice President of College and Community Relations Amy Hulsey. “We have been so impressed with Deitra’s hard work and determination to really shine bright in this competition. Her story is compelling and makes all of us so proud to see her represent North Georgia Tech so beautifully. We are excited to cheer her on through the next round of competition.”
The 2020 state GOAL winner will represent TCSG as a student ambassador at various system functions throughout the year. The state GOAL winner also receives a new automobile provided by Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia as the grand prize.
When asked how she is preparing to continue competing virtually for the next round, Gray is very optimistic.
“In preparation for the next and final round of GOAL, I’ve been practicing my speech and potential responses to interview questions as frequently as I can,” said Gray. “Knowing that the next round is virtual, my nerves have remained the same so far. I’m trying to think of it as I have for all the previous rounds. Regardless if it is in person or virtual, I’m striving to do my best.”
After completing her associate degree and graduating in December from NGTC, she plans to continue her education at Piedmont College and earn a bachelor’s degree.
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