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Feels Like Family

Clarence “Teddy” Banks moved to Shelby almost 10 years ago and has made himself at home in the county and at CCC. He volunteers as a coach at the YMCA and Shelby City Park. Teddy also volunteers his time at CCC, serving as the Student Government Association president, and has even made appearances as the Yeti on several occasions.

“Since I walked through the doors of CCC in 2020, in the auto body painting department, this school has done so much for me,” says Teddy. “I have connected with my teachers and with staff on campus. I have made friends with classmates and other students. CCC feels like family to me. I cannot help but want to give back to a place that has given so much to me.”

Teddy Receives Purple Heart

Giving back seems to come naturally to Teddy. He served in the Army for four years and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012. The unit was scheduled to be there for nine months, but Teddy’s time was cut short when he was wounded.

“I volunteered to go on a convoy that was extremely dangerous because of all the enemy activity on this route. A one-day mission turned into three days. On the third day, we thought it was safe to take off our protective gear, but we were wrong. A few minutes later the enemy fired an RPG at us, and I went down.” Army representatives visited Teddy in the hospital and presented him with the Combat Action Badge and a Purple Heart.

Moving Forward

Teddy doesn’t mind talking about his Army experiences and how that time in his life has helped shape him. However, he is focused on the future. After beginning his studies in the auto body program, Teddy continued to work toward an Associate in Arts, which he will complete in December 2023. His goal is to become a defensive coordinator (coach) for a football team.

“As I look back on the last two years of my life, I would not have imagined that I would be where I am today. I thank all the staff and faculty at CCC who have poured into me and given me the motivation to go the extra mile and the opportunity to be the leader I know I can be.”