Four Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) students have been selected as the college’s finalists for the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL), according to Trish Wiggins, coordinator for the college’s GOAL program.

Listed are students chosen as finalists for the GOAL award showing (from left) the student’s name, city of residence, program of study, GNTC campus and nominating instructor:

∙ Sonia Avalos, Dalton, Diesel Technology, Whitfield Murray Campus, Sal Gonzalez

∙ Jacquelyn Beck, Rockmart, Medical Assisting, Floyd County Campus, Jennifer Stephenson

∙ Ashley Cowan, Adairsville, Pre-Occupational Healthcare, Floyd County Campus, Brittany Cochran

∙ Fabiana Whaley, Cohutta, Cosmetology, Gordon County Campus, Deanna Hulsey

GOAL, a statewide program of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), honors excellence in academics and leadership among the state’s technical college students. GOAL winners are selected at each of the state’s 22 technical colleges.

“This year was quite difficult to choose, due to the number of excellent student nominees,” Wiggins said. “The screening committee did an amazing job narrowing it down to four students. It was not an easy decision.”

The four finalists will advance to a second round of judging with the Rome Floyd Chamber. A panel of business, civic and industry leaders from the community will interview and evaluate the students and select one to be the college’s 2024 GOAL winner.

“The committee chose four students that I believe will represent GNTC’s student population very well in the next round,” Wiggins said.

The student judged most outstanding will be announced at the GOAL and Rick Perkins Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, Jan. 30, in Rome. The event is hosted by GNTC, the Rome Floyd Chamber and the Seven Hills Rotary Club.

All college GOAL winners will compete in regional judging, which will include students from the other TCSG colleges. Three finalists from the region will be named and will compete in the state GOAL competition.

The state GOAL winner becomes the student ambassador for the Technical College System of Georgia. They will make many public appearances throughout the year, including addresses to the Georgia General Assembly, the governor and other TCSG functions.

Kia Motors, statewide corporate sponsor of the GOAL program, is awarding a new automobile to the state GOAL winner. 

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma or a certificate in aviation, business, health, industrial or public service career paths. This past year, 11,601 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. GNTC has an annual credit enrollment of 8,071 students and an additional enrollment of 3,530 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training and Georgia Quick Start. For more information about GNTC, visit us at GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.