Awards

2015 Academic Excellence Award

Becky Leon, Lenoir Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Ever since I was a little girl, my dream was to become a doctor. I did not know what kind of doctor I wanted to be. All I knew was that I wanted to help someone and maybe even save a life or two, or three, or even a hundred.

Matthew Green, Johnston Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award

In 2010, I graduated from Central Carolina Community College with an Associate Degree in Lasers and Photonics.  I had to look for a job outside the state due to economy.  Half a year after graduating, I found a good job in Delaware.  I packed all my things and moved to an unknown place with no fr

Leslie Raynor, James Sprunt Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award

My name is Leslie Raynor. I am 33 years old and am married to a welder. Together, we have four children. Before enrolling in James Sprunt Community College, my education level was only a GED. With employment becoming harder and harder to find, I decided to return to school.

Amanda Guevara, Isothermal Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Earning a college degree has always been a goal of mine, one which seemed unattainable until I enrolled at ICC.

Andrew Brewer, Haywood Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award

My education at Haywood Community College started on a whim. I just transitioned out of the Marine Corps after 9 years of service and I received a flyer in the mail from HCC about upcoming registration for the 2012 fall semester.

Krystie Pendergrass, Halifax Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Something in me changed once I entered the doors of a community college. All of my teachers were very encouraging. Upon becoming a Dental Hygiene student at Halifax Community College, I truly started to focus on my grades. I have pushed myself to make the best grades I could.

Gary Johnston, Guilford Technical Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

GTCC helped save my life. At 18, I joined the military, and as a result, suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Left untreated, it contributed to a tumultuous twenty years. On August 7, 2013, I woke up in a hospital, suffering a traumatic brain injury from a car accident.

Thu Vu, Gaston College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

When moving to Gastonia four years ago, I did not know what to do with my life other than what my family has set out for me - nail business. I wanted something more to satisfy my hunger for knowledge, so I took the first step by getting my GED at Gaston College.

Angela Tournay, Forsyth Technical Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

In early 1990, I completed a year of Auburn's architectural program, but took a leave due to financial issues. Years passed. I worked, bought a car, got married, and bought a home. Life happened and my plan to return to Auburn faded. By 2012, I was at a crossroads: divorced and frustrated.

Scarlett Burgess, Fayetteville Technical Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

I have always had a lifelong love of learning and upon graduating from high school in 1981, my intention was to complete a college degree, but life intervened and I found myself divorced, raising two children alone.

Andre Cooper, Edgecombe Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

It has been times in my life that victory and self-esteem eluded me. Nothing I tried worked. I was starting to think happiness and success wasn’t meant for me. All of my peers had moved on in life and started careers and families, living their life to the fullest.

Shantel Richardson, Durham Technical Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

After graduating high school, I moved in with my sister in North Carolina. I began a gap year working retail and volunteering at a local nursing home. Though I was busy working, traveling and volunteering, I knew I wanted more – to continue learning.

Mitchell Cleary, Davidson County Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

In high school, I had a hard time understanding not only what the point of learning was, but what the point of life was. I felt like I was playing a game where everyone understood the rules except for me. I dropped out and fell into a deep depression.

Hallie French, Craven Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Craven has proved to be an incredible stepping stone. When I began my time at Craven I was unsure of myself. I knew that I wanted to study English, but I lacked direction. Craven has provided me with priceless opportunities that I would not have been afforded otherwise.

Robin Kerr, Coastal Carolina Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Learning is an essential part of life. According to the Digest of Education Statistics at ed.gov, approximately 7.3 million people attended a two-year college in 2014. I am one of those people. I began pursuing my Associate in Applied Science Degree in Architectural Technology in August 2013.

Anastasia Izvekova, College of The Albemarle, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

College of The Albemarle gave me so much, I don’t even know where to begin. I came all the way from Russia to realize my dream of studying in the USA. I am so fortunate that I chose to go to the College of The Albemarle first before going to a four-year school.

Erin Pruitt, Cleveland Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Erin Pruitt of Lawndale is the 2015 Academic Excellence Award winner at Cleveland Community College. Pruitt is graduating with an Associate of Applied Science in Radiography and holds a 3.85 grade point average.

Moza Hamud, Central Piedmont Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Growing up in Kenya, education was a privilege and not a right.

Isaac Phillips, Central Carolina Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

At the age of 31, I decided to become a civilian and leave my Army life behind. Unfortunately, my skills at firing missiles were not in demand outside of the military. I needed more education and training to achieve my goal of becoming a biomedical engineer.

Chanda Sherrill, Catawba Valley Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

When I graduated from high school in 1989, going to college was not an option because I was pregnant with my son. I had to put my educational dreams on hold and go to work so that I could take care of him. The majority of the jobs I have had were factory jobs.

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