WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

College, career fair planned

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A Wilson native’s initiative to connect students with college and work opportunities is growing, with plans to offer two $500 scholarships at a career fair scheduled in May.

D’metrius Dew founded the PENS Program — an acronym for Providing Educational Needs and Support — after asking his brother about his post-high school plans and realizing he needed resources to help chart his course. The program seeks to inform Wilson County students about colleges and universities, help them establish realistic, achievable goals and provide insights and inspiration to motivate young scholars.

The program held its first college and career fair in 2017 and added two events to its calendar — the Build-a-Bridge Forum and a youth social — in 2019.

The Build-a-Bridge Forum was designed to help disadvantaged young men who are overlooked due to their circumstances and environment. Presenters taught participants how to tie a necktie and now-Mayor Carlton Stevens was among the guest speakers. The youth social provided a forum for fellowship and networking with diverse youth from every socioeconomic sector.

Dew graduated from Hunt High School in 2012, earned an associate degree at Denmark Technical College in Denmark, South Carolina, in May 2015 and completed his bachelor’s degree in accounting in 2018.

The PENS Program will offer a $500 Survivor Scholarship in honor of Dew’s aunt, Anita Dew McNeil, and a $500 Impact Scholarship in honor of his barber, Antuan Barnes. Dew credits McNeil and Barnes with teaching him how to survive through difficult times and make a positive impact in his community. The scholarships are meant to help “bridge the gap between aspirations and access.”

Participants can enter a drawing for the scholarships during a college and career fair featuring schools from North Carolina, South Carolina and the District of Colombia and on-site assistance with federal financial aid forms. The event is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 9 at The SPOT youth center.

For more information on the PENS Program, visit https://pensinc.wixsite.com/pens, email pensprogram@gmail.com or call D’metrius Dew at 252-290-7857.

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