Brothers Graduate James Sprunt Together, Earn Associate Degrees

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Even though brothers Quinton Bass and Charles Bass are 8 years apart, on Thursday, May 9, 2019 they will reach a new milestone together – earning their associates degree from James Sprunt Community College.

“I think it’s pretty cool, I don’t think many people can say they graduated with a sibling,” said Quinton.

“It was not expected, but it is nice. I am glad that I can be a part of it with him,” said Charles of his younger brother. “That kid has his head on his shoulders. He’s smart and he’s going to make moves in his life.”

Charles, a welder, had not anticipated going back to school, but after he and his wife had a baby, he decided it was time.

“After welding for five years and starting a family, I just really wanted to better myself,” said Charles. “I would like to get a job that is more hour-friendly so that I can have more time with my family.”

Charles previously earned a certificate in welding from James Sprunt Community College and as he said, “it was a really good experience and I learned a lot,” which was one of the reasons he chose to come back to James Sprunt to get his Associate of Arts degree.

“Schooling was not my favorite thing to do… when I got into welding, I loved it because it was hands on, and I still love it,” said Charles. “But it has its advantages and disadvantages.”

Charles hopes to continue his education, getting his bachelor’s degree in physical education and becoming a PE teacher. “Every since high school, my dream was to be a PE teacher because I loved sports, and that was my favorite class in school. I loved the atmosphere of coaching.”

Undecided in high school, Quinton came to James Sprunt after hearing about the Presidential Scholars Program. “I thought it would be a good decision to come here for financial reasons and also to give me more time to decide what I wanted to do with my future.”

Quinton was one of the first students to receive the Presidential Scholarship in 2017, as James Sprunt started the initiative that year for Duplin County students.

“It was a really good opportunity,” said Quinton. “Coming here definitely gave me more time to think about overall what I wanted to do… the counselors and advisors are really good, they have your best interests at heart.”

In addition to earning two associate degrees, an associate of arts and an associate of science, Quinton will also be receiving a certificate in electrical systems technology, something that he says he thought would be beneficial to him in the future.

“The certificate counts as hours towards receiving an electrician’s license,” said Quinton. “I may decide to do that in my spare time later on.”

For now Quinton is preparing to go into Engineering at Campbell University in the fall.

As for advice that he would give others like him, he says, “if you are undecided, I’d recommend coming here… there are many trade programs that will benefit you.”

Both Quinton and Charles worked full-time jobs while attending classes full-time at James Sprunt, and were still able to maintain a high GPA.

The two had one online class together during their studies. “It was our hardest class,” said Charles. “It was cool that I could call my younger brother and ask him how to do something.”

“I’ve enjoyed myself here,” said Charles.

As for advice that he would give other students going back to school, Charles says, “Even if you did not like schooling, just start it and stick with it. One day it will pay off. Don’t wait.”

The two brothers are planning a camping trip after graduation to celebrate their success together. It’s the perfect choice for two brothers who love fishing, hunting, being outdoors, and each other.

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– Cheryl Hemric / James Sprunt Community College

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