The first students inducted into the NSLS at PDCCC were, from left: Mekayla Addison of Smithfield, Shamya Poarch of Suffolk, Nyjah Silver of Smithfield, Eneida Smallwood of Bertie County, NC, Jennifer Christenson of Smithfield, Vishal Mahendran of Franklin, William Richardson of Suffolk, Grant Hasty of Carrsville, Paola Duran of Franklin, Ethan Voight of Suffolk, Haley Adams of Suffolk, Katrina Cosendine of Suffolk and Errika Lane of Franklin. Not pictured are inductees De’Ryan Artis, Elizabeth Holliday and Mackenzie West.
The first inductees of Paul D. Camp Community College’s Chapter of The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) were honored Thursday evening at a special ceremony held in the Library Learning Commons on the Franklin Campus. Students are selected for membership by the college for academic standing or leadership potential. NSLS is the nation’s largest leadership honor society with 656 chapters and more than 1 million members.
PDCCC Academic Advisor Nicole Jordan welcomed attendees and shared information about the symbols of the NSLS before introducing the keynote speaker, Director of PDCCC Upward Bound Travis Parker.
Parker is also the founder of Coach P LLC, where he is a certified John Maxwell team coach, speaker and leadership trainer. The organization helps people find their potential and encourages positive thinking. A 1985 Southampton High School graduate, Parker later worked at Southampton Middle School, where he coached JV and Varsity football, softball, basketball and baseball.
He also earned his earned a bachelor’s degree from Howard University in Washington, DC, and his master’s degree and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies from Cambridge College in Chesapeake. Parker is very active in the community and is deacon at New Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Franklin and recently elected commissioner of Tri-City Basketball Association.
Parker cited three important leadership areas when addressing the audience: growth, responsibility and reflection.
“You must learn continuously to grow,” he said. “I always say, ‘wake up smarter and better than when you went to bed.’” He noted that actions and attitude are important, as is realizing that as a leader, it is not about ‘us,’ rather it is about others.
Awards were presented to Travis Parker, who accepted the Honorary Membership Award; Dean of Transfer Programs and the Hobbs Suffolk Campus, Dr. Justin Oliver, who accepted the Excellence in Service to Students Award; and Director of the PDCCC Center in Smithfield and Early Childhood Education Program Advisor, Antoinette “Toni” Johnson, who was not able to attend, was honored with the Excellence in Teaching Award.
Student Eneida Smallwood of Bertie County, N.C., shared some very personal struggles she has endured while enrolled, including the deaths in her family. Her story served as an inspiration to others.
An emotional Smallwood said, “If it were not for my daughter, Ms. (Toni) Johnson and Ms. (Nicole) Jordan, I would not have made it this far.” Smallwood, very appreciative of her opportunities and accomplishments, was awarded an Advanced Certification.
Students were then officially inducted into the NSLS, followed by a small reception for students and their guests.
For more information about the The National Society of Leadership and Success, visit www.nsls.org.
Travis Parker addresses participants as the first keynote speaker for the ceremony at PDCCC.
Student Eneida Smallwood shared her struggles during the induction. She received Advanced Certification.