Tompkins Cortland Community College

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Carrie Buchanan

A tradition of serviceCarrie Buchanan


A lot of people keep busy schedules. Work. Spend time with the kids. Take care of the house. Maybe a little church. Something at the school. Not a lot of people do all of that, plus volunteer extensively, go to college full-time, and, maybe most importantly, succeed in keeping all of it working.

The Foundation Service Tradition Scholarship is designed for students who excel in the classroom and also dedicate a significant amount of their time to community service. The Service Tradition Scholars are a rare breed, and Carrie-Lee Buchanan Pierce is a shining example. She's working toward a degree in Human Services from the College. She works on the weekends. She spends time with her kids. She used to cut hair for a living – now she does as a volunteer service for kids she knows, or kids who don't have the money. She also dedicates a significant amount of time to the Danby food pantry.

"Carrie is an ideal student. She's dedicated to the college work, but also has the perspective to understand the importance of the commitment to her community," said Ken McEwan, chair of the Human Services program at the College.

Carrie says her time here has been a pleasure, and she is on track to graduate with a degree in human services. "Tompkins Cortland offers so many wonderful opportunities and classes. And there is such an abundance of support, it's like I have my own cheering section. Extra help is there any time I need it."

And make no mistake, Carrie needed the scholarship. "Without the Service Tradition scholarship, there is no way I'd be able to afford college."