Three Gwinnett Tech Graduates Receive Early Education STAR Scholarship

February 28, 2013

Three Gwinnett Tech Graduates Receive Early Education STAR Scholarship
Scholarship provides funds to complete 'Birth Through Five' bachelor's degree


Three Gwinnett Technical College (GTC) Early Childhood Care and Education graduates have been awarded the Birth Through Five (B-5) STAR scholarship from Georgia State University's Department of Early Childhood Education.

GTC alumni Kai Palmer (Norcross), Ginna Martinez-Junca (Lawrenceville), and Kaitlin Sims (Lilburn) have each received a scholarship to complete a bachelor's degree in Birth Through Five at Georgia State University and will have the opportunity to work directly with identified early education centers to improve quality. The three recipients were evaluated and selected based upon their GPA, community service involvement, dedication to the field of early childhood education, and recommendations from faculty.

"These are exemplary young women who have demonstrated a sincere dedication to not only improving the lives of the children with whom they work but also the Gwinnett community. We are honored to have them as alumni of our program. They are indeed STARs," says Dr. Priscilla Smith, early childhood care and education program director, Gwinnett Technical College.

To earn their bachelor's degree, the recipients will complete Georgia State coursework while interning with partnering early education centers. They will work with children ages two through five – some who have special needs.

"This scholarship will help me to focus on my academics and worry less about funding my education. I look forward to the opportunity to work with young children as a pre-K teacher or early intervention specialist, and the degree from Georgia State University will make my dream come true," says Ginna Martinez-Junca.

Gwinnett Tech is one of the three technical colleges selected to partner with Georgia State University in this collaboration. The STAR Scholarship is funded by the Arthur Blank Foundation.

Gwinnett Tech offers an associate degree and diploma in early childhood education and certificates for Child Development Specialist, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics, Early Childhood Exceptionalities and Early Childhood Program Administration.

In all, Gwinnett Tech offers more than 50 degree, diploma and certificate options that can be completed in two years or less. For more information, visit or call 770-962-7580.

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February 28, 2013