Seven Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) nominees were narrowed down to four: Brandon Bass (Radiologic Technology), Chancy Davis (Marketing Management), Patrick Jenkins (Environmental Horticulture) and Rodriquez Thomas (Early Childhood Care and Education).
"I'm delighted to even be nominated as a finalist over the colleges because out of thousands of students I'm one of the finalists," says Thomas, a former Cooper Tire employee.
Students were nominated by their teachers, and Thomas' Early Childhood Education Instructor Charlene Duncan says she saw leadership qualities in him that made him GOAL nomination worthy.
"I have some wonderful students but his energy and him actually being a class leader for the other students and mentoring them when they need help with their assignments. He's always willing to help," says Duncan. "His level of creativity, his enthusiasm when in front of the children, his ability to create such awesome games and activities for the children really sets him apart."
Albany Technical College began participating in GOAL in the 1970s to reward and show off exemplary work from their students.
Students must have a high grade point average along with a nomination from a teacher. During an interview process, students are evaluated on their moral character, confidence, enthusiasm and dedication to technical college education.
"We're evaluating them a lot on how they present themselves," says one of the interviewers Vicki Tucker, Vice-President of Institutional Effectiveness at Albany Tech.
The four finalists will be interviewed by a panel from the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce in one week to select a winner to represent Albany Technical College at the regional competition at Altamaha Tech. Albany Tech's winner will be announced at a Rotary lunch later in February.
If Albany Tech does well at the regional competition, that student will go on to be one of two technical college students in Southwest Georgia to compete at the state level in Atlanta.
The other 2011 GOAL nominees included Beverly Jenkins (Environmental Horticulture), Kelly Morris (Radiologic Technology) and Stephanie Wright (Accounting).