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King University News :: Former College Dream Winner Emily Parton Lives by Example through Community Service and Continued Education

BRISTOL, Tenn., January 19, 2015 – Fall Branch, Tenn., native Emily Parton’s mission is to live by example. Whether it be as an example for her children, co-workers, or those in her community, Parton believes the best way, to encourage others, is through action.

Three years ago this month, Parton entered the College Dream scholarship contest sponsored by King University and WCQR 88.3. She was later selected as the winner, receiving a full scholarship to King University through the School’s Graduate Professional Studies program to complete her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

After she had won the contest, Parton said, “I am so excited to be given this opportunity to go back to school and obtain my bachelor’s degree from King. “I have instilled in my four children the importance of getting an education, most significantly that they should go to college and get their degree. Although I have my associate degree, I felt strongly it was important to be a positive role model for my children by practicing what I preach and going back to school to further my education.”

Looking back, Parton says, “I always wanted to get my degree. Words can’t express how it felt when God answered this prayer. I still look back and can’t believe it.”

Parton completed her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Dec. 2013. She is now working toward receiving her Master of Business Administration in Human Resources and Management at King. “Furthering my education has impacted my career significantly,” says Parton, who serves as the human relations coordinator for K-VA-T Food Stores – Food City in Gray, Tenn. “I have been given more responsibility. I am now considered a trainer for our district. We have 15 stores in our district. I know [receiving my degree] will provide future opportunities to advance, possibly at corporate one day or higher up at the store level.”

In addition to her responsibilities as human relations coordinator, Parton also serves as the eco coordinator for the Food City in Gray. Additionally, she currently serves as the secretary for the Gray Community Chest and volunteers at local schools and churches.

One project, for which Parton is quite passionate, is a recycling competition for local schools. The Gray Food City has adopted four surrounding schools – Ridgeview, Gray, Silver Springs, and Fall Branch. The schools compete from November to April – Recycling Day to Earth Day, to see which school can recycle the most plastic bags. For the winner, contest partner, Trex, will create a bench for the school out of the recycled bags. “Our hope is to expand the project eventually to other area schools.”

Through her work with the Gray Community Chest, Parton, along with other volunteers, host a Fall Ball for area disabled children who are unable to go out trick-or-treating. They also host a prom for disabled high school students, a Christmas party for approximately 225 area needy children, and a Christmas party for area senior citizens.

When Parton won the College Dream contest, her four children ranged from seventh grade to a junior in high school. In May 2015, Parton will graduate from King University with her Master of Business Administration while her oldest daughter will graduate at the same time with her associate degree from Northeast State Community College. Her daughter said to Parton, “Mom, I’m so proud of you. If you can do it, I can do it too.” Parton exclaimed being an example for her children was vitally important. “Yes, there are some days I struggle, but this will all pay off in the end.”

Throughout Emily Parton’s life, career, and volunteer work, one theme resonates – live by example. “If you have dreams, go for them. Through hard work and perseverance, you can serve as an example to others that dreams really do come true.”


King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.