Pursuing a technical college education has shown Beauty Chanda that she can accomplish whatever she sets her mind on accomplishing.
After having a rough time in high school, the surgical technology student at Chattahoochee Technical College has found success, as well as her calling, in her post-secondary career, as she was named CTC's 2020 Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership winner.
The GOAL winner, along with the Rick Perkins Award and Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education award winners, was announced at the college’s annual awards luncheon to honor outstanding students and faculty Jan. 31 on the North Metro campus in Acworth.
"Among all the outstanding students and the exceptional stories that were shared by my fellow GOAL nominees at Chattahoochee Tech, I was chosen as the winner," Chanda, 24, said. "This is certainly an honor and a humbling experience for me."
The Acworth resident, who received a plaque and a $500 cash award from Chattahoochee Tech Foundation board Chairman Jason Anavitarte, said the award rates a 10 on her list of life achievements.
"It has proven to me that through hard work and the right support system, which is offered at Chattahoochee Tech, the sky is the limit," she said. "When I came to Chattahoochee Tech, I was afraid that I would not be able to maintain a good enough GPA due to the fact that I struggled with my academics all through my high school career. Winning GOAL to me means I have been elevated to a height I never thought was possible."
The GOAL program, a statewide initiative of the Technical College System of Georgia, honors excellence in academics and leadership among technical college students and also highlights the importance of technical education in today’s world.
All 22 technical colleges in Georgia present this award annually.
Besides Chanda, CTC's finalists for this year's GOAL award were computer numerical control technology student Maria Avitia-Freeman, medical assisting student Mackenzie Fidati and physical therapist assistant student Alexa McCauley.
Born and raised in South Africa, Chanda said she came to Cobb County in 2017 to pursue a high-quality, affordable college education at Chattahoochee Tech.
“Thanks to technical education, I’ve found my calling as a future surgical technologist,” she said. "I have always had a passion for making a difference in people’s lives. Surgical technology perfectly suited me because I get to help people who don’t even know I am helping them."
The two-year CTC student currently is taking Surgical Pharmacology and Surgical Procedures I classes at the North Metro campus and will graduate in July with an Associate of Applied Science degree.
As Chattahoochee Tech's GOAL winner, Chanda will advance to the TCSG regional competitions in March, at which state finalists will be named. Those finalists will compete at the state level in April.
"I am ecstatic to represent Chattahoochee Tech at the regional competition," she said. "This will give me the opportunity to express my passion for technical education."
CTC provides an "outstanding environment where students of any academic background can thrive," Chanda said.
"I am absolutely grateful for the education I am receiving," she said. "When I am unleashed into the workforce, I know I will be ready."