2019

2019

Matthew Draughon

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.

Autumn Britton

Halifax Community College allowed me to explore a career that many people don't know about, the lab. The medical field has so many avenues to pursue but the technical skills involved in being a Medical Laboratory Technician lured me in to explore more about it.

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.

Bethany Turner

In May, I will graduate from Coastal Carolina Community College with a Dental Hygiene degree and, I am eager to become Bethany Turner CDA, RDH. Dental Hygiene has been a passion of mine that continues to grow as I progress in the profession.

Victoria Powell

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.

Darcy Kerns

Over the years, I have had many goals and aspirations, one of them being to succeed throughout my time here at Guilford Community College. I decided to attend GTCC for a variety of reasons and couldn’t be happier with my choice.

Rachel Plott

I am a 38-year-old mother of two and currently working to support my family, in addition to attending school. My first son needed life-saving surgery at 6 weeks old.

Abigail Hamrick

Making the decision to attend Cleveland Early College High School was a difficult one, but probably one of the best I have ever made. The January before attending CECHS, I lost my father and was very uneasy about going to a school where I did not know anybody.

Monica Laney

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.

Michael Philbeck Jr.

Many people think that they need to go to a university to get a quality education. I can personally tell you that is not the case. Since I work full time and provide for a family of seven, Community College was my only choice.

Madison Barkley

Currently, I am in my final semester at Wilson Community College (WCC).  I am working on my associate degree in Accounting and Business Administration.  I have taken classes at WCC since high school, and I have always loved the atmosphere of the College. 

Gavin Taylor

Gavin Taylor, a second-year student studying criminal justice at Rockingham Community College, has been named one of “The Great Within the 58” – an academic excellence award presented to one student at each of North Carolina’s 58 community colleges.

Dana Diaz Cuellar

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.

Robert Lachapelle, IV

I currently reside in Tarboro, North Carolina. I have attended Edgecombe Community College (ECC) for almost two-years. I have worked diligently to earn and maintain a 3.8 GPA, and I am proud of my efforts. While attending ECC, I have met some awesome students and instructors.

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.

Courtney Kirkham

My success story at Cape Fear Community College has been one filled with many emotions. I have felt empowered, gained leadership skills, and have overcome obstacles. I came to school to get an education, but I have found so much more.

Jason Stover

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.

Joseph Turner

Receiving the Academic Excellence Award feels a bit surreal. I cannot help but think about how the student I used to be ten years ago is the polar opposite of who I am today.

Kristen Stuteville

I began my journey at Richmond Community College shortly after moving to North Carolina from Michigan. My experience at Richmond Community College has far exceeded my prayers and expectations.

Robert Villanueva

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.

Alisha Sechrest

My success story begins when I applied for the RIBN program through North Carolina A&T University and Davidson County Community College. This program set me on a path for success as long as I worked with a determined attitude, compassionate heart, and never gave up.

Anna Grace Brooks

Ana Grace Brooks is an Associate in Arts student planning to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in occupational therapy.

Sindy Martinez

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.

Christina Fletcher

My path to higher education is very different from what I planned. Partway through my senior year of high school, I had to face the reality that I could not afford to go to a four-year university.

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.

Jonathan Overton

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.

Angeles Gomez

I was looking for an educational challenge and wasn’t sure if I wanted to attend a community college. However, my opinion changed once I started attending Central Piedmont.

Holly Cable

Being at Catawba Valley Community College as an early college high school student has given me the opportunity to see different possibilities than in a traditional high school setting.

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.

Justin Pedley

I have grown up and lived in Sanford, NC my whole life. After graduating from high school in 2011, I was not sure where I would end up in the career field.

Elizabeth Anne Dupree

Through College of The Albemarle, I have been blessed with incredible, qualified, and kind instructors who care about the learning experience of students. I have made lasting friendships and have had an amazing educational experience while keeping myself out of student debt.

Colby Smith

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.

Michael Priest

The idea of attending a college had always been the forefront goal as my senior year of high school ended. Due to me being a new student and a new North Carolina resident, the search for a college began. The decision on where to go was not easy for me.

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.

Aaron Thomas Clark

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).

Jamie Jennings

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.

William Wallace

Way back in the 90’s, after I graduated from high school, I went to college the first time. I was an “okay” student. I participated in class and turned in my assignments on time, mostly. I made good grades, but I never really succeeded because I was young, naïve, and socially dumb.

Tiffani Woods

When I decided to return to college, it was a no-brainer to find a community college to attend. I was new to North Carolina, but I had heard a lot of positive stories about Piedmont Community College. I was leery, expecting ridiculously high tuition rates.

Estefani Cota

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.

Jason Phelps

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.

Katie Pontak

In May, 2019 Academic Excellence Award recipient at Bladen Community College, Katie Pontak, earned an Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, and a high school diploma all at once.

Melissa Wright

In 2010, I lost my partner after a four and a half year battle with breast cancer. A few years later, I decided to sell our company and begin the journey into a new career. This involved going back to college at the age of 40.

Alexandre de Souza Carvalho Pennington

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.

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.

Nicole Obando

As part of the Career & College Promise program at Beaufort County Community College, Nicole Obando was able to get a head start on her college education during her last two years of high school.

Yvonne Perkins

My goal of becoming a leading member in the Horticulture profession has been progressing at a rapid pace here at Fayetteville Technical Community College.

Hope Crute

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.

Haley Laughter

When I started college, I was fresh out of high school, with little direction as to what I wanted to accomplish in life. I knew I needed guidance and support but had no idea where to find these things.

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.

Kalyssa Ortiz

Leadership, to me, is a way to guide and help my peers. I feel it is necessary for people as a whole to work together to come to a final goal.

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.

David Klein

The decision to alter one’s path is never an easy one. However, at the age of 41, I made that decision and applies to the school of nursing at Haywood Community College. Throughout my academic journey at HCC, I have been presented with many challenges.

Lauren Strickland

My experience with college was unconventional from registration for my first semester. For one thing, that registration period happened during the summer before my junior year of high 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.

Sarah Wagoner

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.

Wenchan Song Dickens

I have wanted to be a Medical Laboratory Technician since the first day working in the Laboratory as a Phlebotomist in Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center.

Isaiah Gordon

My decision to attend Western Piedmont Community College was based on proximity, cost, and uncertainty in terms of career path.

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.