Success Stories

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

2016 Excellence in Teaching Award recipient Ed Spitler

Professor Spitler’s “hunger for knowledge and his continued quest for personal excellence and understanding of his academic discipline have translated to a career that has impacted literally thousands of students since the 1990s and kept his program at the forefront of engineering programs at bot

Haywood CC Academic Excellence Award Recipient Melvin Little

In the fall of 2010, I found myself being told that I would be laid off from a job that had

afforded my wife, son, and I, a comfortable living. I now was relying on unemployment

benefits, unable to pay my bills, and competing with many other unemployed people for very

Wilkes CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Brooke Church

It is by no means an overstatement to claim that Wilkes Community College (WCC) has reinvented my world, shaped who I am, and molded my future. At WCC, I have been immersed in a variety of courses that have altered my perspective.

Wayne CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Dennis Hawley

I was born and raised in Germany, where I survived a battle with cancer but had limited options for furthering my education or career. So in 2011 I moved to the United States with hope and big expectations.

Wake Technical CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Donna S. Dixon

In 2003, I was a traditional student at a four-year university; however, I did not have a very well thought out plan concerning where I was headed in life. I could not afford $16,000 per year tuition as an out-of-state student, so I decided to join the United States Army.

Vance-Granville CC Academic Excellence Award recipient Elizabeth Caulfield

My high school experience has been unorthodox. I am an early college student, and I have been enrolled at Vance-Granville Community College since fall of 2012. My experience has been thrilling; I would never change my decision to attend the early college.

Tri-County CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Elena Wimpey

Fifteen years ago, I moved to the United States from Russia, and found myself immersed in a culture unfamiliar to me while struggling to learn a new language I could barely speak.

Surry CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Mackenzie Ammann

Throughout my journey to discover both myself and the opportunities that await after graduating from Surry Early College, I have found veracity in the words of Sidney Harris: “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” Essentially, Harris emphasized that mi

Stanly CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Katelyn Blythe

Two years ago, I made a decision that would change my life for the best.  I decided to go to Stanly Community College (SCC) to obtain my associate degree in Criminal Justice.  I am now in my last semester at SCC, and I have had a great experience thus far in my college career.  I have come a long

Southwestern CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Sophie Maxwell

Before I began classes at Southwestern Community College, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.

Southeastern CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Stacy Pukl

When Stacy, a single mother of three boys, relocated to Columbus County a few years ago, she thought she would easily find work utilizing her bookkeeping and office administration skills gained in her previous employment, but quickly realized her opportunities were limited with only a high school

South Piedmont CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Daniel Steinberg

I am a nontraditional student in the sense that my pursuit of a degree at South Piedmont Community College is taking place much later in life than most students.  A few years ago I retired from a career in engineering, a career that was professionally satisfying and afforded me the opportunity to

Sandhills CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Lindita Oelfke

I arrived in the United States on December 31, 2013 with extremely limited English skills. Originally from Albania, I moved here to join my husband who I had met when he was teaching at a local University.

Sampson CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Johna Barbour

Johna Barbour enrolled at Sampson Community College in the fall of 2014, following a 16-year career as a Medical Transcriptionist. The shift from manual to automated transcription led to a decline in demand for transcription services, which resulted in a layoff in May of 2014.

Rowan-Cabarrus CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Thea Flynn

As I begin my final semester at RCCC, I am 100 pounds lighter and am astonished at my academic and personal growth.  I entered college with a love for numbers but am leaving with a much greater appreciation of who I am.  Throughout my journey, my instructors have introduced me to an eclectic worl

Rockingham CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Karishma Desai

Karishma Desai came to RCC as a Rockingham County Early College High School (RECHS) student.

Robeson CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Kenneth Jackson

In 2009, I dropped out of high school in the 11th grade because I simply lost interest in going. I began working here and there, never really being able to hold down a job.

Roanoke-Chowan CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Shirley Parker

I am a second-year student at Roanoke-Chowan Community College with plans to graduate in May 2016 with an Associate Degree in Business Administration. in 1976, I attended Roanoke-Chowan Technical Institute majoring in Executive Secretarial Science.

Richmond CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Jacob Newton

This is my fifth semester at Richmond Community College. When I first came here, my future felt uncertain. I was reluctant to return to a classroom setting after being homeschooled and self-taught for more than five years.

Randolph CC 2016 Academic Excellence Award recipient Avila Ponce

The success of Santiago Avila Ponce, a Radiography student at Randolph Community College, goes beyond his grade point average, which is excellent at 3.893. It shows up in various ways in the classroom and at clinical sites, according to his instructors.


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