Selena Thornton graduated from Piedmont Community College (PCC) in 2006 with a degree in Human Services Technology, Social Services concentration. She also earned certificates in Business Administration for Management and Small Business Start-Up from the College.
Pretty impressive for someone who was unsure of her journey when she first walked through PCC’s doors. Thornton will tell you that she made it because of the caring people at the Piedmont Community College, her encouraging family, and God’s grace.
Fast forward 14 years from Thornton’s graduation date and you will see that she is not only making a difference in her community, but is still involved with PCC and continues to brag about the College as often as possible.
In fact, Thornton continues to support the College and current students by contributing to the Student Government Association and participating in the Alumni Partnership as an engaged cabinet member.
Her hard work in business and community service, and her leadership mindset, made Thornton a top candidate for PCC’s Alumnus of the Year honor. Shirley Deal, Alumni Partnership Chair and PCC Board of Trustee member, made the special announcement, recognizing Thornton as the 2020 recipient.
Deal noted many of the Thornton’s accomplishments, including:
• USA Today Team nomination;
• Induction into Phi Beta Lambda;
• Editor of Emerge Magazine;
• Earned a Master’s degree in legal studies;
• First place recipient of a Business Plan Competition for the State on North Carolina and seventh in the Nation.
“Her [community] contributions include organizing pajama and book drives for kids and she grows the community garden to give to people that are in need of food,” Deal shared at the small May 19 announcement on PCC’s Caswell County Campus.
In addition to running a blueberry farm, Thornton is also active in a local business club, board member and Outreach Director of Piedmont Progressive Farmers Group, and board member of the Caswell County Chamber of Commerce.
An emotional Thornton accepted the 2020 PCC Alumnus of the Year award, saying, “PCC has been so instrumental in my life … I came into the PCC, enrolled in school, and my life changed.”
After sharing that she was unsure about the direction of her future, but realized she needed a change as she raised her first child, Thornton express gratitude for the kindness she found at the College.
“At PCC I found people that believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. That grew into a community of people that I’ve grown to love in Caswell County.”
Thornton went on to talk about how PCC’s Team became her second family. “My family, they are such a great support. They have pushed me and encouraged me along the way. But when you can come to a community college and find people that don’t know you, that don’t know what you’ve been through, but still encourage you and push you to be better and to leave the world a better place than how you found it, then that’s the place [to go].”
“I give God all the glory for all the things he’s done in my life and for directing my steps to PCC. Thank you, Dr. Senegal. Thank you, Shirley, my Shirley! This is such an honor… I’m honored and grateful and you just don’t know how much this means to me, to be able to represent PCC in another way. Thank you, all.”
About the PCC Alumni Partnership’s Alumnus of the Year:
Nominees for this meaningful award must have completed a degree, diploma, or certificate program at PCC; demonstrated support to the College through monetary contributions and/or volunteer service, have achievement in their professions, and have outstanding service in civic/community affairs.
To learn more about the PCC Alumni Partnership, visit www.piedmontcc.edu/alumni.
Photo (left to right): Mindy Satterfield, Alumni Partnership Cabinet member; Shirley Deal, Alumni Partnership Chair and PCC Board of Trustee member; Selena Thornton, 2020 award recipient; Dr. Pamela G. Senegal, President, Piedmont Community College