Alumni Stories: Benjamin McCollum

We were excited to receive this life update from the parents of an
Eagle Alumni, Benjamin McCollum – Class of 2005!

“Yes, we are sharing this because we are proud parents, but we are also thanking God for all those at the church and school that helped shaped Benjamin while he was growing up and thanking God for Benjamin’s willingness to be used by Him in helping and teaching others.

While Benjamin was working full-time as Paramedic Chief on an ambulance, he also earned his nursing degree.  He came off the ambulance as a Paramedic to lead a new Paramedic program at Midlands Tech as the Paramedic Program Director, then the Covid pandemic struck.  The medical facilities went on shut-down, creating problems right from the start.  He was able to get his students set up virtually for instruction while struggling to get his students through clinicals at the hospitals.

He started working in Covid clinics on weekends as a nurse/paramedic, giving vaccines and Covid tests.  That opportunity allowed him to meet department directors in the local hospitals.  Those connections allowed him to bypass some Covid restrictions.  Despite the setbacks experienced, all but two graduated from his first class on time. Near the end of the class, one of the students that did not graduate was called for active military duty.  Later on, because Benjamin was able to request special exceptions through DHEC and the state, that student returned to and successfully completed the program.

Benjamin has doubled enrollment in the Paramedic program for Midlands Tech and anticipates a continued increase this year because of a new hybrid program he will be starting.  His college was impressed with his accomplishments and awarded him the Jack Niles Educator of the Year for 2022, which is presented by the the SC EMS Network at Myrtle Beach each year!

Recently, he received a letter from Midlands Tech stating that he had been nominated and awarded the 2022 Southern Regional Faculty Leadership Award.  That award will be presented during the 53rd Annual ACCT Leadership Congress in New York City in October.  He will be recognized at The ACCT Awards Gala, and become the sole nominee from his region for the 2022 William H. Meardy Faculty Member Award.  That recipient will be announced the night of the gala.

We thank God for all, who pushed, mentored, and disciplined Benjamin to mold him into the man he has become today. We know our church, our youth department, and school have had an important part in his drive and success.  FCS was a strong part of his foundation, and thank you to everyone does not seem enough. We are so proud of Benjamin in what he is doing for the state of South Carolina, but we are also truly thankful parents to everyone else who played a part in shaping him and wanted to share this with our FCS Family.”

~Mike and Theresa McCollum