South Carolina State Flower – Carolina Jessamine

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In the United States, the Carolina Jasmine is common in the coastal plains and piedmont regions (from Virginia down to south Florida and west to Arkansas and Texas).



  • People use Jasmine and Jessamine as two variations of the same word
    • But the state flower is NOT part of the Jasmine family
  • Botanical Name: Gelsemium Sempervirens
  • Blooms in very late winter to early spring and with enough sun light it will bloom again in Autumn
  • No serious disease or insect problems
  • Highly resistant to damage from deer and other wildlife
  • Highly resistant to salt and other environmental factors
  • Highly aromatic
  • Highly poisonous



  • Twining, evergreen vine
  • Narrow, glossy evergreen leaves (will develop a slight yellow or purple tent during the winter
  • Yellow, trumpet shaped blooms/flowers
  • 5 inch long capsules within the bloom



  • Very adaptable and tenacious
  • The Carolina Jessamine LOVES SUN
  • Thrives in environments with plenty of space and moist, well-drained soil

2856_800x600This evergreen vine will climb trees, fences, and latticework at a very rapid rate.

49574Also, found in abandoned fields where it can act as a ground cover. When planted on a bank or slope, the flower will serve as a bushy, rambling groundcover.


  • Provides extreme weather and winter cover.
  • Essential oils are extracted to make perfume, candles, and lotions


  • With the proper training, this flower can be used for many decorative purposes.


  • Water before planting
  • Plant in full to part sun (full sun is better)
  • Dig hole 3x the width of the pot
  • Cover soil with mulch



  • Prune in early spring to maintain shape
  • Keep soil moist
  • Maintain mulch layer
  • Fertilize 2 to 3 times during the growing season
  • Train with elastic stretch ties


Butterflies and Hummingbirds


Yellow Jessamine, Carolina Jessamine, Poor Man’s Rope, Evening Trumpet Flower, Gelber Jasmine, Sariyasemin, Swamp Jessamine, The Mailbox Plant,


Do not mistake this plant as a honeysuckle. The Carolina Jessamine is highly piousness and can cause death and other serious illness’s when consumed.


Pull out the coloring pencils, crayons, or markers and get creative!






The Million Dollar Question

I’ve been asked this question on many occasions but my lack of having the answer bothered me a little more this time.

It was a comfortable night in the hippest part of the city and I was on a mission to find the perfect spot to study. I was looking for an outdoor area with sufficient lighting. I ended up across the street from one of my favorite indoor study spots, Barnes and Nobles.

My new gazebo is dreamy. It’s lit up, it has a table and chairs in place, and a water fountain that produces peace. The table is great for holding my books and the water fountain drowns out any unpleasant sounds produced from the surrounding world. It is comfort, centered in a busy part of town. It is motivating. It’s everything I’ve been looking for.

I was deep into my studies when I heard a welcoming voice. A life-long friend of mine saw on social media where I was and decided to stop by on his walk back home. I was surprised and glad to see him as it had been a while. Little did he know, exactly two weeks prior something happened to me and I was struggling extremely bad. I was having nightmares every night and having a really hard time sleeping while dark outside. I had been feeling extremely lonely, tired, and discontent. This incident that happened brought up a demon that haunted me a lot of my life and was driving me insane. The incident made me feel like that lost scared kid again. I once again found myself staring at the ground and crowds brought terror. About three hours earlier, in tears, I opened up to some folks about what I was feeling. But the misery was still lingering inside of me all night.

When I heard “Hey Seth” I knew the voice, but it had been a while. I was happy to have company. I was evenhappier because the company was someone I look up to. After catching up for a minute, my anxiety was still running pretty rapid but there was also some sense of peace. I wasn’t alone. My sick mind then got stuck on the peanut butter crackers that were caked to my teeth. He walked up mid chew, so I didn’t have time to clean it with my water. We talked about work some, his move back to the area, then came the million-dollar question.

“What do you do for fun?”

I didn’t have an answer. I looked down at my book and said, “not shit.” My silent thoughts were along the lines of “all I do is go to school, work, and try to stay sober.” 

I‘ve been asked this “what do you do for fun” question numerous times in the past and didn’t have an answer but this time the words hit me different. I felt ashamed, but at the same time the light bulb went off. It gave me something to think about for the rest of the night.

After I answered him with the crap response of “not shit”, he reminded me that I surfed for fun. He said he was thinking about getting back into it. Him having to remind me that I surf for fun was kind of embarrassing. It also made a couple other things a little clearer to me. One being that I need to start making more time to have fun and two that I need to be more grateful.

It’s easy to get caught up in school, work, service, and other things that aren’t always particularly fun. If I would just add things that I truly enjoy into the routine of these other daily task, getting through the day wouldn’t be such a trudge.

After sitting and thinking, I now have an answer to the million-dollar question and I will never answer it the same…

I go surfing. I read a good book. I go to sporting events. I learn how to play new instruments. I sing like a fool. I go to live shows/concerts. I write. I run. I play sports. I go fishing. I walk my dogs. I eat. Etc.…

There’s a lot of things I find fun but when I’m in a funk, I forget to have fun. When I’m in a funk, it’s probably because I lost my gratitude. I typically lose my gratitude when I decide to take something troublesome on alone. 


Note’s to self:

  • Keep adding to the gratitude list.
  • Just because others are sick doesn’t mean you have to carry whatever damage they have caused you.
  • It didn’t happen to you, it just happened. OR If it wasn’t you, it would’ve been someone else.
  • Don’t try to “handle it.”
  • You don’t have to do life alone. 
  • Have fun!


Would do you do for fun?

The Breeze Takes It




I’m supposed to be honest but you fail to tell the truth

The birds out of the cage but it should’ve been you to let it loose

We’re only as sick as our secrets and I hate that you’re bruised

One day I hope you understand that hiding things is considered a lie too.


When will I learn to lose all these earthly expectations

My hopes for love and mankind are to broad imagination

We will all let each other down, I’ll end that thought with exclamation!


I’m sitting on the beach writing to let it go

It’s just anger, distrust, fear, me and the moonlights glow

As the waves crash on me I will continue to row

And with the oceans breeze I’ll let the pains flow.



Realistically I have no control and what will be will be

And I know there’s a Power that’s much greater than me

The Power I call God and God can set me free

Where my feet stand now is really as far as I can see.




Seth June


A Dream – Love Story


I’ve finally seen her, it’s the girl I’ve always loved

She looks just as beautiful as ever, she was sent from up above.


I try to avoid conversation because I know what she does to me

She says I would’ve told you but I can’t because of he.


I said it’s ok, but it really never is

She’s all I’ve wanted she’s the family and mama of my kids.


But we were never able to make it

And I can’t help but love you, the flame remains lit.


I could no longer hold the wonder I asked and “I’m moving is what she said”

The tears moved up from my heart and released out my head.


I tried to be understanding but my response back to her

Was I’m trying to let go but something else should occur.


I’ve tried to move away but I’m wherever I go

I’ve tried to escape but my addiction would just show.


You tried to tell me to quit but I never could

And for you I always thought I would.


I cried for years and I still do to this day

But it was a different guy standing there the day your dad gave you away.


I told you I wished you the best but I had to go

Tear filled eyes I turned and took some steps and what happened next I wouldn’t know.


I walked in the distance wiping the uncontrollable tears from my face

about the time I looked up at the sky I heard the beautiful girl yell wait.


I turned around still teary eyed and scared to death

The girl came running jumped in my arms and stole my breathe.


A loving smile followed by a powerful kiss

We were spinning circles blocking traffic and nothing else in the world seemed to exist.


That day we left together and we never looked behind

Walking away holding hands knowing it was true loves perfect time.

Farewell from your Carolina’s Region Vice President (SC)

A year ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was trembling in my boots (dress shoes) and on the verge of passing out. When I first started my speech on Beauty and Vulgarity, just my hands were shaking. About 45 seconds in, my back began to rattle. I thought I was a dunner. Not only was there a couple hundred of the brightest students and advisors from along the Carolinas in attendance, but the President and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa, Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner was present and sitting front row. I was afraid my sweat was going to bounce off the floor and splash her she was so close. I was beyond nervous. Running for regional office for the most prestigious honor society was terrifying and I commend all that are campaigning this year. Win or lose, you all have accomplished something big. You have stepped out of your comfort zone and you’ve gained a much larger support group than what I knew was even possible. Welcome, this is your PTK family.

Working through the fears spoke on above turned out to be a great learning experience and turning point in my life. As I have told my chapter members many times before, I used to have mini panic attacks just having to introduce myself but Phi Theta Kappa and becoming a Regional Officer sparked a new confidence in me. I learned to laugh at myself and I learned that life really isn’t that serious. Life’s meant to be enjoyed.

The fellowship of this program has brought me so much joy and love. I’ve made a lot of extremely uplifting friends from the Carolina’s Region and beyond. I always look forward to seeing everyone at events and in the mean time I enjoy keeping up with everyone through social media.

It’s clear that I love Phi Theta Kappa, the Carolina’s Region, and the Regional Officer team I had the pleasure of serving with, but my chapter has been the biggest blessing of all. Everyone has kind of taken their own role in the group. I’m the old, over protective, grumpy man of the group. I can give them crap but no one else can. I’ve seriously never wanted other people to succeed so badly in my life and I wish I could protect them from all the bad experiences and failures in life that they will have to face. I deeply love my Alpha Nu Sigma family and I hope they would call on me if they ever needed anything. Now and forever.

It’s been great learning to be better leaders with the rest of you. Throughout life and even more so this past year, I’ve learned that great leaders know how to work with others as a team. One of the most meaningful acronyms a good friend and mentor has helped install in my head is, “T E A M – Together Everyone Achieves More.” This is true for life in general and I’m glad you all have played such a huge role on my team. I love you all and thanks for a great year.

I am Seth June and I am PTK!

We are PTK!

“Shining Through My Tears”

Have you ever doubted your purpose? Have you been trying to beat the depression and escape the deep end of the pool? It’s that little piece of hope and faith that’ll pull you through. Life’s all about being open minded, honest, and willing. It’s about knowing there’s a power greater than yourself. This poem was written on a darkened mind racing night full of self hate and a dash of hope.

Let me show you the good, so I can hide the bad

smile real big so you want see me sad

sometimes I can’t take life, I get so mad

I suffocate, then I remove the bag.


I have too much to see to give up just yet

I have to keep breathing, so I catch my breath

I know everything that comes my way is just a test

I pass them one by one and plan to do so with the rest.


I’m staying in school and have to finish this degree

even though life’s a struggle and shit don’t come free

we to often try to face too much alone and we lag to get on a knee

God I pray that you please don’t give up on me.


There is reasoning behind each and every thing

you just have to figure out what’s worth the pain.


Figure it out and that’s what you fight for

the things that aren’t you walk out and shut that door

along the path to success, trust me, you’ll again fall to the floor

that’s when you find it in yourself to fight some more

put back on that smile and never show if your hearts sore

and to keep you lifted up is what friends are for.


Love all people and show them respect

the ones that don’t, sooner or later will regret …


… Because feeling all alone is no fucking fun

so be nice to others and deliver them some sun.


I want a good job, a family, the American Dream

but sometimes I wonder what if that’s not what’s meant for me

until then I’ll keep my head up, in order to see

because I have too much potential to give up in a world with endless possibilities.


By: Seth June

2017 Carolina’s Region Leadership Conference

Did you miss the Carolina’s Regional Leadership Conference? Well here’s what happened!

L-R: Seth June, Teresa Echeverria, Don Koch, and Ricky Swing (Carolina’s Regional Officers – Seth, Teresa, and Ricky; Division 1 International VP Don Koch)

Over 150 leaders from the Carolinas Region swarmed Sumter, SC November 10 through 12 for the 2017 Phi Theta Kappa – Carolinas Region Leadership Conference. Central Carolina Technical College hosted this distinguished event in a first-class manner. Early Friday evening students and advisors who had already checked into the conference took advantage of learning to judge both Honors in Action and College Project entries. Friday night after all attendees arrived, is when the real fun began.


L-R: Amber Ford and Alli Lash read the children’s book they wrote for the regional “Read to Succeed” service project during one of the workshops


We held back to back concurrent workshop sessions for attendees before the first general session. During the first general session, the one and only Carolinas Region Superstar, “Papa” John made the call to order and introductions to get the evening started. It was quite the task but John passed over the spotlight to Dr. Michael Mikota, President of Central Carolina Technical College.



Dr. Michael Mikota, President, Central Carolina Technical College


Dr. Mikota shared a great message about the four forces of flight. He compared these to life and how people live it. The four forces of flight (or acting forces of an airplane) are Lift, Thrust, Weight, and Drag. In regards to people, there are those who “lift” others up, those who “thrust” others to push themselves harder and further, those who “weigh” others down, and those who “drag” others backwards. Following the motivational welcome by Dr. Michael Mikota it was time for members of the Carolina Region to get active.




Leila Rogers builds a machine

Leila Rogers, Advisor and Faculty Scholar from Horry Georgetown Technical College had members from the crowd volunteer to help with an activity. These volunteers didn’t know what they were getting themselves into and it led into an entertaining experiment. These volunteers were told to build a machine. They were all different parts to the machine and all played a vital role in making sure the machine ran properly. Without every part working properly and in sync with the other parts, the machine couldn’t function properly.  It was a great team lesson. Everyone has their role when it comes to working as a team and when one person doesn’t do their portion, somebody else will have to pick up the slack.


Group 2 led by Seth June

Saturday was a day full of fellowship and teamwork. Students were split into mock chapters where they went through the process of electing chapter officers and voting for who would work on either the Honors in Action or the College Project committee. Following this step, students worked together to decide what they were interested in researching, discovering community and college needs, and how they could put their research into action. All who participated learned the step to step process in completing and writing a successful project.


Alpha Nu Sigma Chapter performs Summer Night’s from Grease in the Lip Sync Battle (L-R: Amber Ford, Alli Lash, Myisha Webster, Jason Hanson, Seth June, and Steve Luse)

Following a long day of work, it was time for a little entertainment. Saturday night was full of laughter and cheers as chapters participated in a Lip Sync Battle. Sunday morning was the third and final general session. During the session, mock chapters regrouped to review the judges’ feedback from the previous days’ work. The region then received a Phi Theta Kappa Headquarters Update from Division 1 International Vice President Don Koch. He also got everyone involved in an exercise to increase membership by asking small groups to work together to discuss what works and what doesn’t when it comes to increasing membership. The leadership conference was an eventful learning experience shared by all. The fellowship and discussion between members was astonishing. Get to Myrtle Beach for the Regional Convention. It’s going to be a blast.

By: Seth June