Dr. Joe James, a long-time supporter of Cape Fear Community College (CFCC), recently provided a unique, hands-on experience for CFCC students, which united the Heavy Equipment and Diesel, Welding and Collision Repair programs at CFCC to work towards common goal. Dr. James arranged for CFCC students to refurbish a 4.5 KW generator to power a dormitory at the Boy’s and Girl’s Home at Lake Waccamaw.
The Boy’s and Girl’s Home of Lake Waccamaw provides housing and education for youth between the ages of 6 and 21 who are unable to live successfully with their family or previous home setting. The environment at Boy’s and Girl’s Home is one of welcoming support, encouraging their residents to not only achieve success in the school setting but to use their personal strengths to guide their future.
Dr. James has supported the Boy’s and Girl’s Home for years, following in the footsteps of his stepmother. He is especially impressed by the school’s 80% graduation rate, which is attributed to teachers’ strong commitment to leave no child behind, no matter their past circumstances. A majority of these students continue to college. Therefore, when James heard of the Home’s need for a generator, he jumped at the opportunity to combine his resources with CFCC’s know-how.
The generator, previously idle at Dr. James’ home, was in rough shape before students revived it. Though the engine and generator were in working condition, the frame surrounding the generator was caked in rust which halted its ability to perform.
Students restored the frame to more effectively support the engine, repainted the unit and ran performance checks on the generator as a whole. Their combined efforts ensured that the generator would work efficiently and reliably for the Boy’s and Girl’s Home.
“When I saw it I was overcome with emotion,” said James. “It looked just like it did twelve years ago when I first installed it. And when it promptly started and produced the correct voltage and frequency on schedule I was greatly pleased.”
Patrick Hogan, Dean of Vocational and Technical Education at CFCC, joined Dr. James in commending his students and the department on this service learning opportunity. “I could not be prouder of our students, faculty and staff for their support of this service project that allowed them to hone their technical skills while providing a valuable emergency generator for this Boy’s and Girl’s Home,” he said.
Along with the technical skills students refined during the project, students also gained collaborative experience working hand-in-hand with other departments to accomplish a common goal – skills that will prove valuable in their future careers.
“Getting the job done on schedule told me that these students were not only learning vocational skills with this project, but were also learning the business associated with these skills,” said Dr. James.
Cape Fear Community College strives to integrate students into community service and career-preparation projects such as this and extends many thanks to Dr. Joe James for allowing CFCC students to be a part of this rewarding opportunity.