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Opinion Letters Macon County needs MEC

Walking through the doors of Macon Early College I was nervous, afraid, and excited, all of which numerous students experience on their first day of high school. That day was different though, I was not only starting my high school career, but my college one as well. MEC: a place where people earn a two year associates degree and also get a laptop to use during their duration at MEC, which is all people know when they hear the name of that school. What people do not know is that MEC is not just a school; it is a tool, a lesson, and a home.

MEC has prepared me for college. Taking college classes in high school gave me a taste of what to expect when furthering my education. MEC has done more than prepare me for college; it has provided me with a second family and home.

MEC is more than a school, it is a family. This term is always coined around when students use one word to describe MEC, why is that? In a typical high school, friends are made within the classes students are in, at the end of each semester, students begin new classes and make new friends, rarely keeping in touch with the old ones; MEC is different. MEC has less than two hundred kids, and even if a student is not in the class, he or she is guaranteed to see just about every single student every day. The small class sizes and the same lunch period for everyone give students a chance to get to know and learn a lot about each individual student, this provides a bond amongst the students. Being in college, I am always encountering new faces and it is rare for me to learn about each person I meet. In MEC, I was able to connect with each student. The students are very accepting of each other, people who were bullied in middle school thrive here. Even students who would otherwise not graduate from high school are graduating with a high school degree and an Associate’s degree. Students at MEC gain a new level of maturity; those who usually do not take school seriously have a newfound respect for MEC in the end. People attend MEC because they want the opportunity to earn a college degree, but while at MEC, they find new reasons to stay at MEC. MEC became another place for me and other students to call home. If the students have to attend different schools, a family will be broken.

MEC would not be a family without the faculty that works there; it would just be an empty shell of a building. I was lucky to have Mr. Todd Gibbs as my principal. Mr. Gibbs was my guide; I could always go to him to help me make decisions. Mrs. Mary Trotter, was always there to help me in whatever I wanted to do, Mrs. Nancy Abeya Ritter encouraged me to try new things, Mrs. Holly Cabe discovered talents in me I did not even know I had; what will happen to these people who always supported, and still support, me?

Where will all of the teachers and tutors at MEC who shaped me into the person I am today go? These people who work at MEC were always there for me, and still are. Even now I can still go to any member, ask for help, and receive it. Where will these people go if MEC is shut down? The shutdown of MEC will not only affect the students, but the people who work there, the people who have families of their own to support.

Without the faculty at MEC, I would not be where I am today. Without MEC, I would not be at UNC – Chapel Hill; I would not be able to graduate next year.

MEC is the reason I am at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. MEC is the reason why I will be graduating my second year at UNC. If MEC is shut down, a home and a family will be broken.


Gaitry Aruwani


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