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Image of Sarah Frick sitting on a bench at SCC.Students who visit the Financial Aid desk in Stone Hall are greeted by Sarah Frick, who joined the college in the beginning of 2020 as a financial aid associate. Although this is a new position for Sarah, Sandhills Community College is not.

Sarah was one of the first graduates of the Sandhills Career and College Promise program and a work-study student from 2017-18. She transferred to UNC- Pembroke, and graduated with her Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies, concentrating in Office Administration.

She started working at Sandhills just one month after graduating from Pembroke. “Being one of the first Promise graduates has really changed my life,” she said. “Having the experience of working at the school before going to Pembroke got me ready for the job force way before I graduated…As a high school student, I never thought that I would complete half of my Associates degree before I graduated. Sandhills gives students the opportunity to get into the job force faster by being in school for a shorter period of time.

“To anyone going to school regardless of where it is, I highly recommend asking to be considered for work-study. Many programs want students to have work experience before they graduate and this can seem impossible to some students, but work-study can make it possible. Students can work in nursing, art, culinary and more through work-study. Being able to get office experience before applying for jobs really helped me look better alongside other candidates.”

The Sandhills Promise allows high school juniors and seniors to earn college credit or workforce continuing education credit toward an industry-recognized credential or certification. Academic credits earned through Career and College Promise enable students who continue into post-secondary education after graduating from high school to complete a post-secondary credential in less time than would normally be required.

Now, as Financial Aid Associate at Sandhills, Sarah helps students that have financial aid questions, makes sure students have filled out their FAFSA, identify what type of financial aid they were awarded, and other front desk duties.

“Sandhills gives students the opportunity to attend college without the stress of money,” she said. “I have always known Sandhills to be a place wanting to give people an education regardless of their financial situation.

“I would have never dreamed that I could attend community college without having to pay a dime of tuition…Transitioning from work-study to full-time has been amazing. I knew in 2017 that I loved Sandhills, but I never thought I would be able to say that I am a staff member. I am able to help students and be around the most amazing individuals who work in Student Services. “

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