After two rounds of interviews Nikki Hinson, a Radiologic Technology student, was named Wiregrass Georgia Technical College’s 2019 Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) winner. A family tragedy first sparked Nikki’s interest in the medical field. “My mom was involved in a head-on collision which resulted in breaking most of the bones in her body”, shared Nikki. “The event was also my first look into the world of medicine as I watched doctors and techs and all sort of equipment see inside my mother’s body to diagnose and treat her.” Nikki’s mother would eventually recover and Nikki married and became a busy mom with two little boys. As her life was falling into place, she found that she still wanted to return to school.
Nikki enrolled at Wiregrass Tech, and through her own research found the program that peeked her interest, Radiologic Technology. Nikki was impressed with the college’s guarantee on graduates and knew employers would be intrigued by an applicant that was backed by a two-year guarantee. Since becoming a Wiregrass student, she is an active member of SkillsUSA and currently serves as the college’s chapter president. Nikki was a member of the SkillsUSA team that earned gold medals at both state and national levels last summer. She also serves as Secretary for the Student Government Association.
GOAL, a statewide program of the Technical College System of Georgia, honors excellence in academics and leadership among the state’s technical college students. Local GOAL winners are selected at each of the state’s 22 technical colleges as well as one Board of Regents college with a technical education division.
Hinson competed against 24 nominees from Wiregrass’ four campuses in Valdosta, Douglas, Fitzgerald, and Sparks before being named as one of the top four nominees, and now college winner. The runners-up were: James Grobsmith, Barbering; Chris Rampley, Radiologic Technology; and Joshua Velasquez, Air Conditioning Technology.
Nikki was nominated by her Radiologic Technology Instructor, Jennifer Ray. “I nominated Nikki because she is an exemplary student who not only excels in the Radiologic Technology program, but also demonstrates leadership and decision-making skills through her involvement in various student organizations.” shared Ray.
Hinson will now advance to regional judging in late February. In April, she will learn if she is one of the nine state finalists at the State GOAL Awards ceremony in Atlanta. A panel of leaders from the business, industry and government sectors will interview the finalist and choose one to be the 2019 State GOAL winner and the recipient of the GOAL medallion. The grand prize also includes a new car, courtesy of KIA, the statewide corporate sponsor of the GOAL program.
Nikki shared, "I am so honored to be our local GOAL winner! I am thankful for the overwhelming support that I have received and for the opportunity to represent Wiregrass at regionals. This award represents my academic achievements as well as my character, and to be chosen as the student best fit to represent such an incredible Technical College is humbling to say the least. I look forward to future competitions and, God willing, future victories!”