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  • Giselle Smith

ECTC: 'Quality Higher Education in Hardin County' + 'Generosity & Education'

SO MUCH GOOD IS HAPPENING IN HARDIN COUNTY. This blog feature highlights a local ECTC student, Henry Waters, and tells about his choice to attend Elizabethtown Community & Technical College. Scholarships are such a large part of educating the community: ECTC offers scholarships for a number of programs and degree plans. Many of these scholarships are funded by kind-hearted locals who see the benefit in investing in the education of our community such as Tricia Brackett (Hudson First Generation Scholarship to recipient and future nurse Lisa Deweese) and Julia and John DuPlessis (Culinary Arts Scholarship which went to veteran, Deborah Grindles). Here we share a couple stories in hopes of inpsiring others whether to give or to follow their dreams through education. Photos by Marnie Clagett of Clagett Photography.

Henry Waters' take on attending ECTC

Henry Waters chose to attend Elizabethtown Community and Technical College for many reasons, particularly for the opportunity to obtain a quality education at an affordable price.

“To be honest, I didn’t see the point in attending a larger university,” he said. “I wanted to save all the money I could, and I’m getting the same education at ECTC as I would at a larger university.”

Henry, who graduated from Elizabethtown High School in 2019, is in his second year at ECTC. He is pursuing an Associate in Applied Science degree, specializing in Small Business Management, with the goal of getting a realtor’s license. To help pay for ECTC’s already-low tuition, he plans to leverage the Work Ready Kentucky Program, which allows students to earn up to 60 credit hours toward a degree, diploma, or certificate tuition free. Among other qualifications, students must be enrolled in a high-demand program such as Advanced Manufacturing, Healthcare, Business and IT, Construction, or Transportation and Logistics.

“Work Ready is a great program and is very helpful for anyone eligible to participate,” Henry said.

ECTC offers educational opportunities for students starting college for the first time, as well as those thinking about a career change. Whether looking to begin college then transfer to a larger university or earn a degree, diploma, or certificate at ECTC, students have a variety of programs and paths to explore. And with small class sizes and experienced professors, students aren’t just another face in the crowd.

“I like how small ECTC’s classes are,” Henry said. “The professors know you, and you’re not forgotten here.”

Henry’s father, Robby Waters, believes that the college is a perfect fit for his son.

“Our community is blessed to have Elizabethtown Community and Technical College,” he said. “The faculty and staff are committed to ensuring Henry gets a quality education. He made a very good decision to begin his college career at ECTC.”

For more information on Work Ready, visit To learn more about educational opportunities available at ECTC, visit

Tricia Brackett, ECTC Alumna & Hudson First Generation Scholarship Donor

Hudson First Generation Scholarship

Scholarships can make a huge difference in the life of a student, and many who attend Elizabethtown Community and Technical College take advantage of these opportunities to help fulfill their educational and professional goals. Fortunately, many people in the community and beyond help support students and the college by donating to scholarship funds. For Tricia Brackett, ECTC alumna, supporting the Hudson First Generation Scholarship Fund was personal. “College always felt out of reach for me,” she said. “It never seemed like an option. But when I became a mother to twins, I started thinking on how I could encourage them to pursue college. So, I decided to enroll at ECTC.”

Tricia learned that ECTC had several scholarship options and wanted to support the unique needs of first-generation students. Benefitting from the generosity of others herself, it was only natural for her to contribute to scholarship funds once she had the opportunity and means. “I wanted to give students what was given to me,” she said. “Everyone deserves the opportunity, and it was because of the power of scholarships that I was able to succeed.”

The Hudson First Generation Scholarship Fund was established by Mike and Selena Hudson, and anyone interested can contribute gifts of any amount. Tricia said that donating to the fund was an easy process – simply a matter of visiting

ECTC nursing student Lisa Deweese received the Hudson First Generation Scholarship. With ECTC’s low tuition and several available scholarships, she hopes to graduate from college with little-to-no debt. “I’m so grateful that these scholarships are available,” she said. “To have someone in the community support what I’m trying to do is life changing. I look forward to the opportunity to contribute myself when I’m more established.”

Culinary Arts Scholarship

Julia and John DuPlessis, Jr., D.M.D., who established ECTC’s Culinary Arts Scholarship, wanted to support the college while also helping veterans.

“Many Culinary Arts students are former military, which is one of the reasons we set up this scholarship fund,” John said. The DuPlessis attended one of ECTC’s Exotic Game Dinners, hosted by the college’s culinary students, where the need for more culinary scholarships was discussed. John and Julia both understand the value of scholarships.

“As a student I received a scholarship each year that completely covered my expenses,” he said. “That allowed me to graduate from ECC with no debt, which in turn helped me attend dental school.”

Culinary Arts Scholarship recipient Deborah Grindles enrolled at ECTC after visiting the college with her daughter. “While helping my daughter, I saw two elderly ladies enrolling and I was so impressed,” she said. “I thought, ‘If they can do it, I can do it.’”

Deborah decided to study Culinary Arts after a diabetes diagnosis. “My meals turned to bland repeats of the same, but I knew that healthy food choices could be just as enjoyable as regular food, if not more so,” she said. “I had to eat a certain way to live, and I wanted to learn to make the food better. You can eat good food and still enjoy your meal.”

The scholarship has made it easier for Deborah to purchase items she needs for her degree, such as a knife set and a baking set.

“It’s been a great help,” she said.

Julia & John DuPlessis, Jr., D.M.D. established ECTC’s Culinary Arts Scholarship

For more information on how you can support these and other scholarship funds, visit or contact Megan Stith at (270) 706-8721 or

Follow us on social media and be looking out for upcoming magazines, party invites and lots of blog features: Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. If you attend ECTC or whether you’re benefitting from a scholarship or giving back this season, we would love to follow your story. Please tag us in your Instagram posts or use the hashtag #elizabethtownlifestyle. We can't wait to see you're doing this season!

Lots of love Elizabethtown!

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