Stories of Excellence–Genny Wooten
Genny Wooten knows that taking a different path from one’s peers can lead to rewarding destinations. Although her goals may have been unclear at first, her time at Mitchell opened her eyes to new passions and opportunities. Starting her educational journey at Mitchell laid a solid foundation for a life-long career in a diverse field.
Wooten grew up in Davie County and attended Davie High School. Like many students, she did not have a clear plan for what she wanted to do after graduation. When Wooten’s parents suggested community college, she had reservations. “I was not thrilled about the idea of attending Mitchell at first,” she admitted. “The majority of my friends were going off to four-year universities and I had misconceptions about community colleges. However, it did not take me long to realize that I was wrong about community colleges, specifically Mitchell.” While Wooten had access to several community colleges within 30 minutes, she chose Mitchell to continue her education for the traditional collegiate environment and the college’s proximity to downtown Statesville.
The first in her family to be a Mitchell student, Wooten began taking classes at the college in 2018. From her first days in the classroom, she could tell that her instructors were passionate about their subjects and their students. “The instructors I had at Mitchell were absolutely incredible,” she shared, “and they truly cared about their students and their education.” Instructors Rita Taggert, Chris Yockey and Ryan Cannon left a lasting impression on her. Wooten appreciated how all her instructors went out of their way to help students and how valuable office hour appointments were.
Wooten enjoyed her studies and excelled at Mitchell. College Transfer Success was one class in particular that made an impact of Wooten, helping her discover her passion for media. Wooten honed her skills with communication related assignments in other courses, a favorite being a semester long blog students created in an Interpersonal Communication course.
Both in and out of the classroom, Wooten forged many friendships at Mitchell. Being able to hang out with her friends downtown between classes was one of her favorite memories. “I made incredible friendships at Mitchell,” she noted. Like many Mitchell students, Wooten balanced her studies with work and other engagements. She was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, volunteered with her church youth group, and worked at a campground during the summer months.
Wooten graduated Mitchell in 2020 with an associate in arts degree, boasting a 4.0 grade point average. After graduation, she felt confident in her decision to pursue her bachelor’s degree. “Mitchell provided a really good transition from high school to my four-year school,” she said. Wooten is Currently attending North Carolina State University (NC State). She is currently conducting an internship at Statesville’s radio station WAME. In addition, she was one of 51 students from 13 schools accepted into CMA EDU–Country Music Association’s college outreach and business development program designed to educate college students on career opportunities within the music and entertainment industries. She is excited about these opportunities to grow in her skill set and gain experience for her future career. Wooten is on track to graduate in May 2022, earning a degree in communication with a media concentration and a minor in journalism.
Once Wooten graduates from NC State, she plans to work in the radio/music industry. She plans to explore opportunities within the field before deciding which one is the best fit. In ten years, she hopes to live in Nashville, TN and have worked her way up in the radio/music industry with a stable career. She hopes to make an impact in her field.
Wooten’s advice for Mitchell students is to not compare your path to the paths of others. “A lot of my friends from high school tell me how they wish they would have attended a two-year college first,” she admitted, looking back on her own choice with confidence despite early misgivings. “I would recommend Mitchell to any high school student who is unsure about their future,” she said. “I saved a lot of money and figured out what I wanted to do in the future.”
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