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Finish Line Grant Helped Student Pay Expenses While Earning Degree


Derick Mauck had been a sleep technologist for 14 years. He was capped out on salary and career growth potential, and the third shift hours were tough as a husband and father of a teenager and a toddler boy.

“I needed a change. I was getting really burned out even though I really enjoyed my job,” Mauck said.

He decided to pursue an area of study that he was originally interested in out of high school – Physical Therapy. He was accepted into Surry Community College’s two-year degree program to become a Physical Therapist Assistant.

The 36-year old was prepared to go into debt if necessary to finance his tuition and books. He was at Surry Community College for a couple of semesters before trying to apply for scholarships and financial aid. He just thought he wouldn’t be eligible at this point in his life to receive funding.

“I just didn’t think I would qualify,” he said, “But after applying, I was able to get help every semester after that point. I should have done it sooner.”

Mauck had previously earned a Biology degree at Winston-Salem State University where he was able to enroll as a junior since he had completed college credit as a dually enrolled Surry Central High School student at Surry Community College. He graduated from Winston-Salem State in December 2002 and entered the workforce.

A family member knew Mauck was going back to school full-time and juggling bills. They saw an article in the local newspaper about Surry Community College’s new Finish Line Grant program. They encouraged him to apply.

After filling out an easy application and doing an interview, Mauck learned that he could get help from the grant to pay for his mortgage and utility bills since he was almost finished with his degree.

“The Finish Line Grant was a great resource to reduce the debt that I was incurring from being in school full-time,” he said. “I encourage other students to check into the grants and scholarships being offered at Surry Community College. You might be pleasantly surprised like I was.”

Mauck, who lives in the Holly Springs community of Mount Airy, currently works full-time as a Physical Therapist Assistant for Yadkin Valley Home Health in Jonesville. He visits around 30 patients per week and enjoys helping people regain their mobility. His job offers scheduling flexibility, and he likes being in the great outdoors as he travels to his patients’ homes. He sometimes takes patients outside to do their physical therapy to give them a new routine and fresh air.

The Finish Line Grant, administered by the Piedmont Triad Regional Workforce Development Board, is geared for students who are halfway through their program of study and need emergency assistance. The grant will help with transportation, auto repair, childcare, dependent care, housing assistance, utility bills, healthcare expenses, books and school supplies as well as tuition.

If you are interested in the Finish Line grant, contact Forrest Lineberry at (336) 386-3244 or or Sabrina Terry at (336) 386-3530 or You can also fill out a Finish Line Grant application online.

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