The Pace family is not like any other family you will ever meet. Dennis, Ethan, Anya and Julian, although not blood related, will let you know immediately that they’re siblings.
“We were excited but honestly nervous,” explained Julian as he recalled the entrance of Anya and Dennis into their family. “Now, I can’t imagine not having them here with us. They are my brother and sister.”
Adopted from Russia after a four-year process, Anya and Dennis became officially part of the family two years ago. Anya and Dennis are homeschooled with Julian and Ethan; all are currently dual enrolled at Savannah Technical College’s Effingham Campus.
“I want all of my children to become self-sustaining so they can make a good life for themselves,” said mom Tracey Pace. “I couldn’t be more thrilled with Savannah Technical College. They have bent over backwards to meet all of our needs.”
Including Anya, who admits her English skills are not where she’d like them to be.
“I’m taking a lower level class so I can get better at reading English. I think I’d like to eventually work with the elderly, maybe in physical therapy or counseling,” she said. Anya is also taking college algebra while finishing her high school requirements.
Julian and Ethan are both taking technical communications specialist certificates, obtaining degree-level courses while completing their high school classes.
“The classes and instructors are great and it’s good to know these classes will transfer later on,” Julian said.
Dennis is working on a certificate in CNC lathe machinist.
“I like the construction classes,” he said. “It’s closely related to traditional Russian woodworking.”
Julian and Ethan are also passionate about their music (www.myspace.com/pacebrotherssing). Julian plays, among other things, guitar and harmonica. His brother Ethan also plays the fiddle and bass. Their music is self described as “folk, bluegrass, rock-billy or country,” Ethan said. “Rock-billy is kind of like Southern rock; Credence Clearwater Revival is one example.”
Tracey said it’s the flexibility that Savannah Tech has given her that keeps her coming back to STC for her children’s needs.
“To me, so many other colleges try to take the cookie cutter approach to education; Savannah Tech just hasn’t done that at all,” she said. “I will continue to push my children in their schooling because it is so important to their success.”