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CCC&TI Student Wins Statewide Student of the Year Award PDF Print
Written by Steve Frank   
Thursday, 01 September 2011 09:16

Boone, N.C. - Marcia Alayon, an English as a Second Language student at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s Watauga Campus, recently brought home a statewide award from the annual North Carolina Community College System’s Basic Skills and Family Literacy Conference in Raleigh, N.C. Alayon was chosen from numerous nominees from across the state as the recipient of the 2011 Angela Moore Trogdon Student of the Year Award.

Each year at the conference, awards for students, volunteers/tutors and instructors are given in memory of Angela Moore Trogdon, former director of Basic Skills and Human Resource Development at Randolph Community College and Guilford Technical Community College. Trogdon lost her battle with breast cancer in 1999 and has been memorialized through these awards.

Alayon, who is originally from Venezuela, has lived in the Boone area for the past 11 years, and says that she decided to take ESL classes at CCC&TI because she wanted to regain her confidence. “When you move to a country where you don’t speak the language, you are instantly transformed into someone insecure and mute. You lose your confidence,” she said. “I found that by learning English and studying American culture, I was able to get my confidence back and feel like I was more a part of the community here.”

Alayon says that her ESL classes have also helped her appreciate other cultures. “I appreciate the rich diversity of cultures because I have met people from Thailand, Japan, China, Laos, Pakistan and all these students are striving to be the best they can be,” she said. “The best thing I have seen is how knowledge can break down barriers of ignorance and prejudice. It is wonderful how learning American history and cultures brings us together as one people.”

CCC&TI ESL instructor Veronica Lozano-Toub says that Alayon’s passion for people is one of the things that made her a perfect candidate for the Angela Moore Trogdon Student of the Year Award.  “She really works hard and is somebody who has, from day one, really given back to the community. It’s not something she thinks of as service, it’s just who she is.”

Lozano-Toub says that Alayon has worked within the community to organize English lessons for students. She also volunteers with a program for Latina mothers and children at the Agriculture Center in Watauga County, helping to provide childcare so that mothers can take English classes. Lozano-Toub says that Alayon also helps translate for new students in CCC&TI’s ESL program and helps them find other opportunities within the community to practice what they are learning in the classroom.

“Marcia is very compassionate. I think that’s one of her good qualities besides being incredibly hard-working,” said Lozano-Toub.

Alayon says that winning this award was a shock to her. “I never thought I deserved something so big,” she said.

Lozano-Toub insists Alayon earned the honor. “We’re very proud of Marcia. The whole institution is proud because this is the first time that CCC&TI has had a student win the Student of the Year Award and she deserves it.”

Alayon says that she plans to continue her studies and her service to others. “I’m not going to stop studying or helping other people who need help,” she said, “because I feel extremely grateful to everybody who has helped me.”

CCC&TI congratulates Marcia Alayon on winning the 2011 Angela Moore Trogdon Student of the Year Award.

For more information on English as a Second Language or other Basic Skills courses at CCC&TI, call 828.726.2230 or visit

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