Associate in Applied Science

Associate in Applied Science

Robin Kerr

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, 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.

Audi Torres

Audi Torres, Wayne Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to be a nurse.  However, it took many years for me to finally work towards my dream.

Austin Todd

Making the decision to attend early college program at Southeastern Community College gave Austin Todd the best opportunity to achieve the long-term goals he had set for himself.  Transferring to the main campus while still a junior in high school he began working on a two-year associates degree

Najma Hasan

My name is Najma Hasan and I am proud to be a student in the prestigious nursing program at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. It is a challenging program, but I am working very hard. Today, I know my future is bright. But it didn't always look so bright.

Andre Cooper

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.

Sadie Herndon

Sadie Herndon, Wilson Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

My name is Sadie Herndon and I am currently completing my fifth semester at Wilson Community College.  I am enrolled in the Paralegal Technology Program.  I work full-time as a waitress, attend school full-time, and am a single mother of a six-year old child named Max.  I have maintained a 4.0 GP

Teresa Denis Ennis

Everyone has a story and those stories have common themes; indeed, the human condition requires such. All humanity experiences love and hate; joy and consternation. Each and every soul shall encounter daunting obstacles in the pursuit of every endeavor.

Brittany Whitaker

Brittany Whitaker is an Associate in Science student planning to graduate in spring 2017. She aims to transfer to UNC-Charlotte or University of South Carolina to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology or exercise science.

Angela Tournay

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.

Roa Saleh

2016 Governor Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Award recipient Roa Saleh

I was born in Chicago but I have spent half of my life traveling with my parents due to my father’s job relocation. At a young age, I was introduced to two different languages, Arabic and English.

Tiffany Monique Gee

My time here at Central Carolina Community College has been nothing short of life changing. Like many adults or returning students, obtaining a college degree has been a lifelong desire of mine.

Charles White

Charles White is Cleveland Community College’s 2017 Academic Excellence Award winner.

Gary Johnson

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.

Lou Smith

Ecclesiastics 3 states there is “a time to every purpose under heaven”; yet, time stands still for no one. 

Swarnadurge "Durga" Sivamani

Before I was a student at Wake Tech, I was unable and unqualified to work in jobs that gave me the satisfaction of being a valuable team member to create something amazing.

Krystal Baker

As a Cherokee County native, I knew after graduating from high school that I didn’t want to have to travel far from my lifelong home and family to continue my education.

Amanda Guevara

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.

Nichole Medlin

Nichole Medlin graduated from high school in 1991.  After 20 years away from school to be a devoted stay-at-home mom and wife Medlin decided it was time to pursue her future.  With her daughter now gone from home to pursue her own career, Medlin knew that she needed the right tools to compete in

Kimberly Ogle

 I began to work at a minimum wage job straight out of high school, without any plans to continue my education, because that just wasn’t what people in my family did. The fact that I had even graduated High School was a bit of a miracle for us.

Duane Bevitt

After serving twenty-six years in the military, Duane Bevitt’s search for a “retirement career” led him to the Gunsmithing program at Montgomery Community College. He entered the program with some preset notions of what it would be like and what he would enjoy the most.

Jennylee Spottswood

I began my college education in 2006 when I was an eighteen-year-old. After the first semester, I dropped out due to pregnancy. I got married and decided to stay at home with my son. Over the next few years, I worked several part-time jobs and had two more children.

Matthew Green

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

Sierra Tuttle

Sierra Tuttle made the decision two years ago that she wanted to change her life.  After seven year break from school, she decided to enroll at Catawba Valley Community College.  With huge support from her family and her fiance Jeremy, she was able to stay on track and continue her studies.  Tutt

Melissa Anne Myers

I moved to Cherokee County from Charlotte seven years ago. I was a single mother to three children under the age of ten: two daughters with Down’s Syndrome and a son barely leaving toddlerhood. At the time I had no friends or family to serve as my support system.

Tyeshia Bryant

My success story began in 2015. I was a single mother, working a fast food job and I saw no future in what I was doing. I found out that I was pregnant in April of 2015, and I was forced into quitting my job for health reasons. During my pregnancy, I decided that I wanted to go back to school.

Holly Davis

Holly Davis, Martin Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

The decision to attend Martin Community College came very naturally to me. I knew MCC would be the best option for me, because it was close to home and was a smaller institution.

Ric C. Balanay

Working as a laboratory assistant was the starting point of Ric C.

Yosimar Vargas

Who would think that a dirty-faced 8-year-old child roaming the streets selling bleach would earn the Durham Tech Academic Excellence Award!?  At age 8, I was already working in my hometown of Tulua, Colombia, while going to school in the afternoon.

April Taylor

When I began my journey at James Sprunt Community College, it was to earn an accounting diploma to make myself more marketable, but it became so much more. During the summer of 2017, I registered for an accounting diploma, something I could complete in one year.

Lilia Martinez

Lilia Martinez, Nash Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

In elementary school and middle school, I was an A and B student.  At the age of 17, my senior year of high school, my life took a 360 degree turn because of making a wrong decision.  I graduated from high school with a very disappointing GPA and begin working a full time job, which I did not lik

Amanda Vick

The experience at Martin Community College has changed Amanda Vicks in ways she never thought possible.  Bring a part of this institution has given her a pathway that she credits with allowing her to reach her goal of being an accountant.  Vicks is very active in MCC serving in the Student Govern

Kenneth Boney

When I enrolled at James Sprunt Community College in the Fall of 2014 I began with one goal in mind.

Britney Pouch

My Stanly Community College journey began in January 2016. I was terrified and unsure of what to expect, especially since I had been out of school for ten years and I had a one-year-old daughter. Being a mom motivated me to be the best I could be.

Zachary James

Zachary James, Pamlico Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

My family  moved to Pamlico County  in 2011.  I was a high  school dropout, working  on homeschool assignments.

Joshua G. West

Being diagnosed with asthma and anxiety disorder cut short the military career of Marian Corp Veteran Joshua G.

Toni Gorzkowski

In August of 1998, I enrolled into my first year of college. This was exciting to me because I became the first of my mother's children to enroll into college. Unfortunately, I decided to discontinue my pursuit of a degree when I became pregnant.

Yan Zhang

Yan Zhang has been living in the city of Kinston for five years now. In 2014, she enrolled at Lenoir Community College to learn English. Three years later, she decided to pursue an A.A.S. degree in Computer Engineering Technology.

Joanna Cheek

Joanna Cheek, Piedmont Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

About ten years after getting my GED from Piedmont Community College, the opportunity arose for me to finally begin my college education. I always knew I wanted to get a degree, but things just never worked out.

Raydeijah Morning

Failure was never an option for Raydeijah Morning.  Struggling to select whether to go to a university or a community college Morning decided to enroll at Pamlico Community College.  Morning states that attending Pamlico CC has left her with no regrets and the staff is amazing.  Working two part-

McKenzie Sandoval

I have begun to fulfill my career dreams here at Craven Community College in acquiring skills through the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.

Lazarus Limo

As a native of Kenya, I learned English in elementary school and spent many other hours helping my mother on our small-scale farm. We grew maize, Napier grass, passion fruits, and kept cows, sheep, and chickens. of about 15 acres. But I had great ambitions of becoming an engineer and athlete.

Christi Miles

Christi Miles, Richmond Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Growing up I struggled through school, so initially I decided against college. At first it was fine, but after this past recession I realized without furthering my education I would not be able to provide a decent living for my family.

Laura Caitlin Ritchie

Laura Caitlin Ritchie finally discovered that her true calling was nursing.  Having to balance work, school, finances, family and life in general, Ritchie saw how affordable Carteret Community College was and the scholarships and financial aid offered through the financial aid department.  The fa

Taylor Ross Sarks

It is an honor to be Montgomery Community College's nominee for the NCCCS Academic Excellence award. I owe a lot of my success to MCC, so it is great to represent my school.

Malinda Blackwell

I am a thirty years old and the mother of two boys, ages ten and three. After graduating high school in 2006, college seemed like an unreachable goal. I began working instead of pursuing my passion to be an artist. In 2008, my high school sweetheart and I, had our first child together.

Amber Blackwelder

Amber Blackwelder, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

I always wanted to do something with my life, but didn’t exactly make the best plan of action to make that possible. I am twenty-nine years old, I worked in collections a few years but for the most part, I’ve been in the restaurant industry all my life.

John "Bryant" Ballance

Born on in Wilson County, and raised there on the family farm John "Bryant" Ballance has developed a passion for agriculture.  Working on the family farm throughout high school and being involved in Farmers of America Ballance decided to enroll at Wayne Community College and earn a degree in Agri

Toledo Kemmer

I knew it was time for a new chapter in the story of my life.  A position became available at Sampson Community College in the Continuing Education Division and after much prayer and seeking direction and guidance, I knew that’s where God was leading me.  I am a true believer that actions speak l

Danielle Rosson

I graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Building a career after the financial crisis was very difficult so I never actually had a job that needed such a high level of education.

Paula Alanis

Paula Alanis, South Piedmont Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

My name is Paula Alanis and although I was born in the USA I grew up in Mexico. I returned to the United States when I was 18 with my wonderful husband. We didn't know the culture or the language we decided to come here for better opportunities.

Erin "Peyton" Jones

Erin Peyton Jones many times has found herself reflecting on the words of Thomas Edison: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.

Mary Green

I quickly discovered that Roanoke-Chowan Community College was like another family. The one aspect I enjoy the most about being a student at R-CCC is the closeness that is encouraged between individuals on all levels. I also appreciate that the faculty and staff will listen to my ideas.

Joshua Bradley Mesimer

Joshua Bradley Mesimer, Sampson Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Sampson Community College has named Joshua Bradley Mesimer to receive the 2015 Academic Excellence Award.

Sarah Elizabeth Shepherd

In during her senior year in high school, Sarah Elizabeth Shepherd made the decision to become dually enrolled in the RIBN Program through Wilkes Community College and Lenoir-Rhyne University.  Taking several WCC classes during high school did not prepare Shepherd for how involved she could becom

Beverly Carter

I began my journey to Wilson Community College to acquire a degree in Accounting. I was a nurse for approximately sixteen years and worked diligently at doing so. Due to battling cancer for the last thirty-one years, my immune system would no longer allow me to work in this field.

Paulette Gardner

Paulette Gardner, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

When I was expecting my second child, I looked at my life and wanted more for my children. I decided to go to A-B Tech. I knew the only way I would be able to give them the life they deserved was by going back to school.

Conner Wilson

Conner Wilson, Southwestern Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

When I started my college career I was excited for what my future as a student held. I was already working two part-time jobs and then I just added the task of going to school full-time. In the fall semester of my first year was when I decided to join the fire department.

Kimberly Sheppard

Not having taken classes for the past 15 years made going back to school very scary for Kimberly Sheppard.  Entering Richmond Community College at the age of thirty-three was a decision that would change Sheppard's life and also her perspective on life itself.  The reason for the delay in getting

Lena Effler

Lena Effler began her education journey at McDowell Technical Community College in 2011.  For her it has been a long road, but says that it was well worth it in the end.  Getting married after high school at eighteen, Effler decided to get a job and raise her son.  Everything in Effler's life see

Erin Pruitt

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.

Brad Easter

Brad Easter, Surry Community College, 2015 Academic Excellence Award Recipient

Almost three years ago to the day, I was sitting in the same spot on the couch that I’m sitting in now typing this essay. It is only by reflecting back on that painful night three years ago that I’m able to put into words my “success story” involving my NC Community College experience.

Emily Furey-West

Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska Emily West-Furey at the age of 19 moved to Jacksonville, North Carolina in 2010 with her husband.  For the next 5 years, she devoted her time to building and focusing on a family and raising her daughter while her husband was deployed.  In 2015 Fuery-West decide

Kimberly Johnson

Over the years I have been blessed with many exciting opportunities in my life and chances to lead and inspire others.