Success Stories

North Carolina's community colleges are creating success for students across the state.

Dane Hendrickson, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Excellence Award 2012

When it came to choosing a college for the first time, there were many important factors to consider. For example, the most important item to consider was the college’s offering of programs. Another factor involved “fit”.

Steven Vernon, Sampson Community College, Excellence Award 2012

Steven Vernon had worked in manufacturing for over thirty-two years when he learned his job would be terminated.  Five short days later, he was unemployed.  Through the Trade Readjustment Act, Steven was given the opportunity to go to college, get a degree, and make a career change.

Charles Oliver, Sandhills Community College, Excellence Award 2010

I came to Sandhills Community College in 2010 when I entered the polysomnography program.  Due to the downturn in the economy, I was a displaced worker.  SCC provided me with a fresh start and a new beginning.  As I began taking courses, I became aware of a passion that I did not know I had.  I r

Leyna Crane, South Piedmont Community College, Excellence Award 2012

I had never really considered a community college before. I’ve always been interested in the big well-known schools, such as Chapel Hill and NC State.

Tyler Drew, Southeastern Community College, Excellence Award 2012

Tyler Drew was initially drawn to Southeastern Community College by the opportunity to play on the College’s intercollegiate baseball team, but he had misconceptions about the academic rigor of community-college classes.

Joseph Cooley, Wake Technical Community College, Excellence Award 2013

Prior to attending Wake Tech, I attended a private liberal arts college and then a state university for graduate school.  Wake Tech was the first school I encountered that taught real world skills, yet simultaneously challenged students to think critically.  This unique combination is why I belie

Jody Thong, Wayne Community College, Excellence Award 2013

When I read about the Medical Assisting program at Wayne Community College, I knew that it was exactly what I wanted to pursue. I applied and was accepted into the program. I love everything about this career field, and I feel so blessed to have been given this opportunity to study at Wayne.

Rita Hatzimimis, Vance-Granville Community College, Excellence Award 2013

I will start by saying, “It is never too late to learn something new”. I am currently entering my last semester of the Radiography program at VGCC. In 1988, I earned a bachelor’s degree from Elon College (now Elon University).

Tyler Cook, Western Piedmont Community College, Excellence Award 2013

Success is often a mixture of small steps toward larger goals.

Mindy Blackburn, Wilkes Community College, Excellence Award 2013

At nineteen, I find it difficult to think of my life as a “success story.” How can someone who has not even been alive for two decades claim such an achievement? At my age, success does not define me yet, but is something I aspire to achieve.

Henry Beltran, Wilson Community College, Excellence Award 2013

After retiring from the military in the spring of 2011, I found myself at a crossroad.  I finished a great career but was unsure of what I wanted to do next.  I always had an interest in office work and the medical field.  I decided to see what opportunities were available in these areas.

Holly Blackman, Tri-County Community College, Excellence Award 2013

College is a foundation that many people need to succeed in life, and my foundation started at Tri County Community College.  I got my G.E.D eight years ago at Tri-County and now I’m 21 hours away from my two year degree.

James Cockerham, Surry Community College, Excellence Award 2013

My journey in post-secondary education began at the age of twenty-three. I graduated from high school six years earlier and set out to make a name for myself as a musician. As I grew older, my priorities changed, and I found myself wanting to be a force for good in my community.

Ian Antonio, Sampson Community College, Excellence Award 2013

Upon graduating high school, I didn’t have a definitive pathway to my future. All I knew was that my goal was to become a Software Engineer. However, I really had no idea what would be the best way to achieve this goal.

Luke Abers, Sandhills Community College, Excellence Award 2013

I obtained my GED through Sandhills Community College in 2007. In 2010 I enrolled at Sandhills as a student in their Surveying Technology Program.

Jeremy Pitt, South Piedmont Community College, Excellence Award 2013

One year ago, the prospect of going back to school was not an option. My wife and I had moved from Utah to North Carolina. I was grateful to find work at a local bank with decent pay and great hours.

Avneet Nagra, Southeastern Community College, Excellence Award 2013

When Avneet Nagra accepts her high school diploma in May, she will also be awarded an associate’s degree, making the 17 year old the first member of her family to graduate from college.

Anthony Heltsley, Southwestern Community College, Excellence Award 2013

After being out of high school for over nineteen years and never taken a college class ever, I began to have trouble adapting to the college class environment and lacked self-confidence. I was starting to doubt whether I was really cut out or even smart enough for college.

William Dennis, Stanly Community College, Excellence Award 2013

The idea of college always seemed nice, but I never considered it would become a reality.  When the economy took its toll on the construction industry, I did not realize my path of life would change for the better.

Ana Soto, Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College, Excellence Award 2012

As a young adult fresh out of high school with the dwarfism condition known as spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita, I was uncertain of my future.

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