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CFCC goes viral: Erasing community college stigma through social media

CFCC goes viral: Erasing community college stigma through social media


A TikTok created by CFCC Freshman Maria Congema now has nearly 700,000 views (courtesy: TikTok/@capefearcc)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Cape Fear Community College has been working to end the stigma against attending a community college for years and now they’re using a popular social media platform to get their message across.

Maria Congema graduated at the top of her class with hundreds of community service hours and several extracurricular activities, and she chose Cape Fear Community College.

“You don’t have to do what all of your peers are doing, it’s okay to do what works best for you,” Congema said. Not everyone has the same journey in life so I’m super happy that I got to be a part of breaking that stigma.”

Congema created a TikTok video sharing her experience and the response was not what she expected.

“It went crazy, it went viral,” she said. “It’s reached so many people and we’re just so happy that the message is getting out there that it’s okay to go to a community college.”

After nearly 700,000 views and 60,000 likes on Congema’s TikTok, CFCC continues to create videos on the platform to help erase the stigma of attending a community college.

“It’s so encouraging and so heartening to see a positive response to that because it’s something that we’ve been confronting as a college and as a system for many years,” Vice President of Academic Affairs Jason Chaffin said.

Chaffin says they’re always looking for new ways to get their message across.

“We try to tell our story in as many different ways as we can and reach as many different audiences as we can. You really can’t beat the community college system when it comes to affordability and quality of instruction,” Chaffin said. “We want to be seen in the eyes of our students and our students parents as a first choice rather than an alternative. I think the reaction we’re seeing on TikTok indicates there’s a lot of receptivity out there to that message and we’re very pleased to see that.”

For more information on programs offered at Cape Fear Community College, visit their website.



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