Lottery Tuition Rally at State House

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By Crysty Vaughan
By Crandall Sims

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)-- Hundreds of technical college students from across South Carolina gathered on the State House steps Tuesday to rally for the Lottery Tuition Assistance program.

The students held the event to show their appreciation for the dollars that help boost their education.

"I was very happy to meet the people who made this happen and who makes life a lot easier for all of us," says Teresa Thompson-Isley, LTA recipient.

"Companies rely on the technical college system, when they come to South Carolina and even more importantly companies who are here, who want to remain here and grow, rely on the technical college system to train their workers," says,Senator Vincent Sheheen, D-South Carolina.

According to the South Carolina Education Lottery, to date $480 million dolalrs has been appropriated by the General Assembly to fund the Lottery Tuition Assistance program.

$49 million has been appropriated for 2012-2013.

The lottery released a statment that says, in part, "Our technical college system is held up around the nation as the best of the best, particularly in the past three to five years when we've seen countless citizens have to retool themselves for an emerging knowledge-based economy."

That includes those like Teresa Thompson-Isley.

"I don't have to work extremely hard hours to support my three kids," says Thompson-Isley.

And she has advice for others who could soon be following her footsteps.

"Push and you can reach that goal, you can reach your dream, if you have a dream. Because that's what it's doing for me, it's allowing me to reach my dream," says Thompson-Isley.

According to state officials, nearly 400,000 technical college students have benefited from Lottery Tuition Assistance since 2002.

1 in 3 technical college students relies on LTA to assist in achieving their educational goals.

Each year, just over 38,000 technical college students are awarded partial or full lottery tuition assistance through the program

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