Wiregrass Names Semi-Finalists for GOAL Award


October 31, 2017

Valdosta, Ga - Four Wiregrass Georgia Technical College students have been selected as the college’s semi-finalists for the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL), according to Lydia Hubert, coordinator for the Wiregrass GOAL program.

Chosen as semifinalists are: Monique Carter (Associate of Science in Nursing) Lowndes County, Sierra Ely (EMS) Coffee County, Olivia Gilliland (Auto Collision Repair) Lowndes County, and Ryan Mathis (Business Management) from Hamilton County, Florida.

Wiregrass 2017 Top GOAL Finalists

Moninque Carter shared she chose the Associate of Science in Nursing program to become a caring and compassionate Registered Nurse who demonstrates clinical experience while maintaining the highest standard of holistic care. Sierra Ely was a former Dual Enrollment student at Wiregrass while attending Fitzgerald High School. She shared, “It was not until after I graduated high school that I truly appreciated the impact of my schooling at Wiregrass. Opening doors for me as a Dual Enrollment student, and continuing to do so now as an EMS student, my instructors have pushed me to step up and step out as a leader.” Mark Whitson, nominating instructor for Olivia Gilliland, shared this about why he nominated her, “For the time I have had Olivia as a student, I have seen a real fighter for a career she wants in a male-dominated field. She holds a lot of talent and customer skills, is a true class leader, and a joy to teach.” Driving 40 minutes every morning shows the determination within Ryan Mathis. He shared this about how technical college has personally impacted him, “Wiregrass has taught me the value of the right education in the right fields. The things that I learn I can go right out into the world and implement them. That is what has impacted me the most.”

GOAL, a statewide program of the Technical College System of Georgia, honors excellence in academics and leadership among the state’s technical college students. GOAL winners are selected at each of the state’s 22 technical colleges as well as one Board of Regent college with technical education division.

GOAL winners from each college will compete in regional judging in February. In April, all college winners will come to Atlanta where the nine regional finalists, three finalists from each of the three regions, will be announced and compete at the state-level. One student will be named as the statewide GOAL winner.

"The purpose of the GOAL program is to spotlight the outstanding achievement by students in Georgia's technical colleges and to emphasize the importance of technical education in today’s global workforce," said Lydia Hubert.

According to Hubert, a screening committee of administrators at Wiregrass selected the four semi-finalists from a list of 18 students nominated by their instructors.

"The next step is for a panel of business, civic, and industry leaders from the community to interview and evaluate these four students and select one to be the college’s 2018 GOAL winner," explained Hubert. “The one judged most outstanding will compete in the South regional judging. Three finalists from the South region will be named and will compete in the state GOAL competition in Atlanta in April, and vie to be named as the 2018 statewide GOAL winner.”

The state GOAL winner becomes the student ambassador for the Technical College System of Georgia and receives the grand prize of a new car.