attitude followed him into his career.” Burgin said East Central was so special to him because of the great friendships and how much he learned that would help him in life. “I am grateful for amazing instructors like Mrs. Shirley and Mrs. Pilgrim who both would go out of their way to make sure not only me but other students are taken care of. I honestly felt the love from all of my instructors while attending the college. I remember going to the library and there was always so many supportive people around. ECCC is family and it is love. Yes, you have to work hard but the hard work will definitely pay off in the long run of life. “I went from walking everywhere around Decatur to owning both my cars and paying off my Dad’s cars. I can’t believe I am driving my dream car, a Yukon Denali XL, and have now traveled to 30 states. I promise I am not bragging. I am giving my testimony of not ever giving up on yourself. I will always love and honor ECCC because it has truly given me so much that is priceless. I know ECCC is an incredible college and is offering so many great opportunities to really be able to get out into the real world and be successful. Pilgrim praised him for his hard work and dedication and said she was extremely proud of the success he has found. “He occasionally still comes by to visit, and it does my heart good when I get a big hug from him. I enjoy keeping in touch with him and watching him travel, all the while successfully performing a job he enjoys. I couldn’t be prouder of him if he was my own son! Students like him are exactly why I love teaching. To this day, I continue to use his example to students to let them know that if you put your mind to it, it can be done! And I still use Terrance’s own catch phrase of how he went from driving a “Daewoo to a Denali.” Shirley expressed similar sentiments. “He has worked many places now as a traveling surgical tech. Everywhere he goes people love him for his smile, work ethic, and attitude. He stops by to see us on campus almost every time he is home from a traveling assignment. He always wants to talk with our students and tell them what a great opportunity they have

in front of them. This makes my heart so happy to see him with so much success. I am a better person for knowing Terrance. He is so infectious with his smile and laughter and if the world could just have a little taste of this it would be a better place. I am so proud of him, just like a mother is of her own son.” Just two years at East Central provided Burgin the opportunity to travel and work in a career he enjoys while helping others. It’s something he encourages others to consider. “Surgical Technology is an amazing profession and its super rewarding. I would recommend East Central and the Surgical Technology Program to anyone who really wants to make a difference in other people’s lives. I am still so excited every time I scrub for a surgical case. I often get compliments while working and people ask, ‘Where did you go to college?’ I proudly say ‘East Central Community College’ without any hesitation!”



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