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Little lights the way for students

SUN. |11-5-23| FEATURES

     A hidden office in the back of Rose high school's library belongs to Rose first year Graduation Coach Cynthia Little. A graduation coach is someone who helps high school students that are at risk of not graduating.  

     Little’s experience in the education field goes back to 2007, when she started out as a datamanager for Pitt County schools.

     “I worked at Bellfort elementary for four years and South Greenville elementary for five years,” Little said.

     After Little resigned from working at elementary schools, she then started working at Pitt Community College (PCC).

     “I worked at Pitt Community College for six years for five of the years I was a HR (Human Resources) specialist,” Little said. “The last year at Pitt Community College I went to the student enrollment service.”


Photo by Ma’Kailyn Worsley Cynthia Little works at her desk as she prepares for graduation season.

     Working in the HR department at PCC, Little’s job was specifically a record specialist.

     “I took care of the faculty transcript and made sure whatever the faculty was teaching the transcript matched,” Little said. “I made sure the faculty was certified to teach what they were teaching, I also did their attendance.”

     When Little was at PCC, one of her responsibilities was to do the payroll attendance.

     “I made sure I did all employees' absences and leaves and that they had longevity dates,” Little said. “I also did part time payroll any time we hired part time staff; I made sure they had all the paperwork they needed.”

     While working  in different fields of the education system, Little noticed she enjoyed different things in each position.

     “I enjoyed working at PCC, I loved working as a HR helping people and the staff,” Little said.

     Although Little enjoyed her position at PCC, she did miss working with elementary students. Shortly after Little left PCC she then applied to Rose as the graduation coach.

     “During the month of July I went to the Pitt Community website and I saw that J.H Rose needed a graduation coach,” Little said.

     Little didn’t have to go through any preparations in order to become a graduation coach because she was hired by Rose Principal Dr Nydra Jones. Jones noticed that Little had nine years of experience and a bachelor's degree in disciplinary studies. 

     “I ended up getting my bachelors degree in disciplinary studies, which kinda helped me move around in human resources,” Little said. “[To be a] graduation coach you have to have a bachelor's degree and you don’t need any certifications.”

     Because the graduation coach position is fairly new at Rose, the schedule varies everyday and consists of finding at-risk students.

     “My day -to-day schedule consists of trying to find at-risk students and credit deficiencies, mostly students who do not have enough credits to graduate,” Little said. 

      Although the school year has just started, Little has made an impact at Rose. 

     “I have impacted the school because the first 10 days we are trying to contact students who haven’t shown up,” Little said. “I’ve contacted a bunch of parents to figure out where they’re [at] and I feel like I’ve worked well collaborating with the counselor and social workers.”

     Little hasn’t just impacted the school,but she has also connected with the staff.

     “I’ve connected with the administrators and counselors very well and everyone has been friendly and supportive,” Little said.

     Little’s goal as a graduation coach is to help decrease the dropout rate and help students cross the finish line.

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