Success Stories

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

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.

Jason Phelps was in between full-time jobs helping his father-in-law with residential and commercial wiring jobs. It sparked an interest and he thought about pursuing a career as an electrician.

Jamie Jennings was selected as Mayland Community College 2019 Academic Excellence Award recipient. She graduated in May with her Associate in Arts Degree and plans to pursue studies in Secondary Education at Mars Hill University.

After several years of being away from the “school setting,” I decided to return to college and complete my degree. I owed it to myself and I was going to do the best job I possibly could.

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.

To say I originally despised the idea of attending a community college would be an understatement; however, my opinion quickly and completely changed. As someone who did not know what he wanted for the future, I neglected college applications until it was too late.

My journey at Pitt Community College began when I realized my job was not taking me to the place I wanted to be in life, nor did I feel passionate about my career. My mom set a good example for me as she was hardworking and loving, and I wanted to do the same for my son.

From South Carolina to Afghanistan and back a time or two, I’ve spent the last ten years running away from where I was raised.

Growing up in Huntington, West Virginia, I was never expected to go to college, nor did anyone in my life ever attempt to prepare me for it.

I am honored to be nominated for the North Carolina Community College Academic Excellence Award on behalf of Sandhills Community College (SCC). I would not have been able to succeed without the support of my SCC family. Prior to coming to SCC, I earned my A.A.S.

I originally enrolled in South Piedmont Community College in 2011 after transferring from UNC Charlotte. At the time I was 20 years old, living on my own, and working two to three jobs at a time to support myself. The financial burden began to weigh on me over time.

Through Whiteville High School’s Career and College Promise program, I am able to take college courses of my choosing and receive both high school and college credit for them.

Matthew was born and raised in the town of Metairie, Louisiana-just outside New Orleans. Shortly after graduating high school in 2004, he joined the United States Marine Corps.

Attending Surry Community College has been the best choice I could have made. After graduating from high school, I was not yet sure of my future path or ready to leave home. These last two years at Surry have instilled a confidence in me that will continue pushing me to strive for my goals.

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.

As a Franklin County Early College High School student, Hope has been a member of the Vance-Granville Community College family for five years. The obstacle Hope has had to overcome most of her life, especially in the last few years, is her father’s long battle with illness.

When I was young, I wanted to be important and successful. I would spend hours imagining myself in a business meeting or wearing my father’s suit. I understand now what I did not back then. Success comes from persistence and resilience. I came to the U.S. from Brazil to work as a bellman.

Estefani is an extraordinarily gifted student and an outstanding member of the school and local community. Estefani participated in the 2018 Summer Biomedical Research Program at ECU, conducting research on skin cancer.

Wilkes Community College Academic Excellence Award recipient Aaron Thomas Clark

While in eighth grade, I chose to attend Wilkes Early College High School, a dual-enrollment program through Wilkes Community College (WCC).

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


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