Brandy Holliday wants children who are victims of abuse to know that there is a way forward. “They are afraid to speak. I want to be that person to let them know it’s okay,” said Holliday. She is a human services technology student at Beaufort County Community College, and her passion for the work she wants to do spills over into other parts of her academic life. Holliday is also a BCCC ambassador, the historian for the Student Government Association, a volunteer with TRIO and a scholarship recipient.
Holliday, 34, attended North Pitt High School and received a GED from BCCC in 2013. That was the year she got focused. She had been taking classes on and off at Pitt Community College, but started working on her Associate in Arts in 2014. She will graduate next May. The people who have suffered from child abuse she has met throughout her life are who inspire her to push forward.
“They can still live after what’s happened to them,” she said. Her plan is to work for child protective services. Removing a child from a hostile environment is not always easy. “You have to be a strong person. It hurts you on the inside,” she said. “To see a child taken from a family…sometimes you have to call for backup.” She said the removal of the child can give parents time to get themselves together. “It’s in their own best interest.”
Holliday is the right person for the job. Not only does she have a visceral connection to her career field, she is an engaged member of the BCCC community. Ambassadors are selected after interviews with candidates. A BCCC ambassador represents the best that the college has to offer, speaking at events and helping with community events.
She also volunteers with TRIO, a program that helps first-generation college students to excel. Students who are the first in their families to attend college often have a harder time as they lack the resources that other students take for granted. The program offers laptops, tutoring and cultural experiences to help students stay in college.
As an active member of the Student Government Association at BCCC, she helps put on social and academic activities for students. Holliday is a recipient of the James Franklin & Hannah Roberson Bagwell Endowment Scholarship. She has thrived during her time at BCCC. “I felt right at home because the teachers want to see me be something,” she said. She listed Judith Meyers, Amanda Bright, and Ann Barnes as instructors who have helped her to succeed, along with student support staff like Sandra Hunter and Tashawna Scott.
“If you come to BCCC, don’t feel like there are no resources,” she said. “The resources are out there. The teachers got your back. They will make sure you have everything you need to make the grade.”
Holliday sometimes second guesses her future profession. She asks herself, “Is this the profession I want to do? No child wants to be taken from their parents.” She knows her work will help children and their families heal. Her dedication and commitment to excellence mean that Beaufort County will be a happier and safer place for children to grow up.
- Human Services