Haines wins big for SRTC-Bainbridge

Abrey Haines: SRTC Foundation scholarship recipient, PBL State Champion, and future Network Engineer.

Each semester, the Foundation at Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC) awards over 50 scholarships to deserving students, totaling well over $100,000 in scholarships granted annually.

On Monday, May 6th, Abrey Haines of Whigham learned that she received two scholarships: the Sabal Trail scholarship, and the Thomasville Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) Scholarship, which recognizes outstanding PBL members in the Thomasville chapter for their activity and involvement in the association.

Ms. Haines is enrolled in a double-major program; Cyber Security and Cisco Networking, taking fifteen hours during the Spring semester. Computer Information Systems instructor Kris Strawder has been extremely impressed by Abrey as a student, commenting, “Ms. Haines’ dedication to her education and goals is refreshing and rare to see in students today. She leads by example and has demonstrated unselfishness in and out of the classroom. Additionally, Ms. Haines is an active member of Phi Beta Lambda, and she has volunteered as a Student Network Administrator and Spiceworks Administrator for Networking and Microsoft Server classes. She is the best of the best this school year in my program.”

At the beginning of Spring 2019, Ms. Haines decided to join PBL, a decision that turned out to be surprisingly fruitful. In her own words:

“As a new member of Phi Beta Lambda, I was unsure of what to expect. I was hesitant to join the organization because of my very heavy course load this semester, and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to commit the time necessary to succeed as a member of the club. Despite my reservations, I decided to join and see what came of it. I was approved to compete in the state competition, and even though it was a great opportunity, I was very worried that I had not studied enough. I just knew I wouldn’t place, and the whole thing would be a waste of time. At the award ceremony, my name was called. Then, my name was called again, this time for first place in Cyber Security. That moment was powerful for me, because in that moment, I realized that I am capable of much more than I give myself credit for. I realized that my test anxiety truly is something I can conquer and that taking a chance often pays off. I tend to be a very structured person when it comes to my academic choices, and the outcome of joining Phi Beta Lambda showed me that taking risks is not only beneficial, but necessary for growth as a student and as an individual. I have learned to stop doubting my abilities and to believe in the possibility of the best-case scenario, even if it seems unlikely.

Moving forward, this new prospective has already been highly beneficial for me academically. I had fallen into a habit of procrastination due to feeling overwhelmed and discouraged, but that changed very quickly after I got back from the state competition. I passed my first final in my introductory Cisco course, which is another test I felt would be impossible to pass. I have gotten back into a rigorous yet realistic study routine that I feel good about. As I continue to grow and improve I will continue to become a stronger student, a more confident person, and a more productive member of the SRTC community, including Phi Beta Lambda.

I intend to use the talents and knowledge I am gaining through my courses at SRTC and my time with Phi Beta Lambda to embark on a journey as a successful Network Engineer, help members of the community, and become the strongest member of PBL that I can be.  In June, I will be flying to San Antonio to compete on the national level. This is a huge opportunity for me. I am extremely grateful for the experiences and lessons that Phi Beta Lambda has given me so far, and I can’t wait to see what my future holds.”

Ms. Haines plans to use her scholarship monies to purchase materials that are specific to her major. She said, “I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that I’m being given as a direct result of these scholarships.”

Fellow SRTC PBL members, Felicia Smith, and Kiana Williams of Tifton, and Brittany Daniels of Thomasville also earned top prizes in their categories at the state PBL competition, and each will have the opportunity to advance and compete at the national level. Nationals will be held in San Antonio, Texas the week of June 23-27, 2019

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