PENDLETON --- In 2013 Nikki Giba was one of 30 seniors who graduated from Cherokee High School in Cherokee, Alabama, population 1,031.  She could count on both hands her fellow graduates who went on to college.  Nearly two years later, Nikki, in her last semester at Tri-County Technical College, is preparing applications to three S.C. universities with Clemson University at top of the list.

Next month you can catch Nikki and other Tri-County students and graduates at a special event, hosted by Country Music Television (CMT), for high school juniors and seniors, on Saturday, April 4, at Tri-County Technical College.  They will discuss their individual educational journeys and the different pathways that led them to Tri-County. Videos of their stories will be posted on CMT's Empowering Education website.

Tri-County is one of 14 community colleges nationwide selected to participate as a partner in Country Music Television's Empowering Education campaign.  The comprehensive campaign provides an online resource,, to aid viewers in overcoming commonly perceived obstacles to furthering their education. 

 Interested high school juniors and seniors can learn how Tri-County can help them get started in a great career at an event that will held prior to the College's annual Bluegrass under the Stars concert set for Saturday, April 4, from 6 - 10 p.m. at the Pendleton Campus.  This pre-concert event, scheduled for 4 - 6 p.m., will include a barbeque dinner, CMT giveaways and drawings for an iPad. Students may bring one parent with them to this event where they can get important information on admissions, financial aid, programs of study, internship and co-ops at Tri-County.  The College's admissions fee will be waived that evening.   

CMT is providing the concert headliner, Nashville-based quintet Humming House, who will be on hand at the pre-concert event to meet students. Also attending will be local bluegrass band Mountain Faith.  Humming House's new CD, Revelries, has been called "infectious and grin-inducing" by American Songwriter magazine.  Promotional material describes them as "woven together from various backgrounds (Americana, classical composition, bluegrass, soul and traditional Irish music), Humming House's playground of musical exploration has something for every generation."

At the event, students also will view video testimonials from students and graduates who will tell their stories and will participate in a panel discussion moderated by CMT.  

"We are honored to be selected to participate in the CMT Empowering Education Campaign," said Dr. Ronnie L. Booth, president of Tri-County. "CMT understands there are people right here in the Upstate who don't truly understand that a college education is possible for them.  CMT will help us to reach audiences we haven't been able to reach in the past," he said.

Space is limited.  High school juniors and seniors may get more information or register at