Wednesday, 19 February 2020 11:33

RichmondCC graduate overcomes loss and gets her start with Office Administration degree

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Although Nicole Benton had personal struggles while working on her Office Administration degree, she made it through and is now a customer service representative at Service Thread Although Nicole Benton had personal struggles while working on her Office Administration degree, she made it through and is now a customer service representative at Service Thread RCC

HAMLET — When Nicole Benton walked across the stage at Richmond Community College’s graduation ceremony to accept her college degree last May, she was reminded of all the hard work and dedication it took to get her to this point in her life. 

Benton of Laurinburg, has spent the past few years feeling like her plate was overflowing. While attending classes at RichmondCC, she juggled two jobs, financial setbacks and the loss of her father. 

While grieving, her motivation for school deteriorated, she struggled with time management in her classes, financial issues and her grades began to slip. She was at risk of losing funding for her school. When a student’s academic progress drops below 67% they must file a Satisfactory Academic Appeal to keep their financial aid.

Although she had many obstacles, Benton made it through the rough patches. Her appeal was approved, with the help of the financial aid department at RichmondCC, and she continued on her educational journey.

Despite the struggles she has faced, Benton graduated from the Office Administration program in May 2019. She is grateful for the support and encouragement she received from all her instructors and not giving up on her college education.

“My instructor, Kim Parsons, had the greatest impact on my education. I have all my gratitude to give to Mrs. Parsons, she never gave up on me, pushing me to complete my degree. She made a positive difference in my life, if it was not for her I would not have my dream career right now,” Benton said. “Mrs. Parsons is the reason I was able to achieve my ambitions.”

Benton is currently employed with Service Thread in Laurinburg where she is a customer service representative. Office Administration instructor Kim Parsons informed her about the job opportunity at Service Thread and connected Benton with the HR department to set up an interview and two days later, she had the job. A few of her responsibilities as a customer service representative are maintaining customer records, invoicing, orders and inventory, processing credit card payments and customer service. 

“Attending RichmondCC improved and strengthened my skills by teaching me what to expect in my upcoming career path. Learning the 10-key adding machine, Microsoft Office and being able to enhance my keyboarding skills has made me stand out in my role at Service Thread,” she said. 

“Nicole was a pleasure to have in the classroom. She was a hard worker and was always ready for class. As she was working on a project, she rarely asked questions. She wanted to find out how to complete each task without asking any questions.  This is a great way to learn and she always put forth her best effort.  I never heard her complain about the workload and she was always willing to learn,” said Parsons, program coordinator and instructor for Office Administration. “It was amazing watching her grow and the positive attitude she always displayed.”

With the help of RichmondCC through her loss and and financial hardships, Benton had the support, determination and perseverance she needed to complete her degree. “RichmondCC has helped me in every way possible to get to my goal. I would highly recommend this college to anyone who is looking to start their college education,” she said.

“They offer all kinds of programs and scholarships; the possibilities are endless. Attending RichmondCC was the best choice I made and I am already planning to go back to further my education.”

For more information on the Office Administration program at RichmondCC or upcoming classes, please contact Kim Parsons at 910-410-1898 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or you may contact Student Services at 910-410-1730.