Peggy and Bob Culbertson of Charlotte have committed $1 million to Central Piedmont Community College to provide scholarships for financially needy students. The college will use a significant portion of the gift to establish the Peggy and Bob Culbertson 49erNext Scholarship Program to assist students in the newly created 49erNext Program. The Culbertson gift also will fund scholarships for Central Piedmont students pursuing career-focused technical degrees and preparing to enter the workforce.
49erNext is a new co-admission program to facilitate degree completion and student success by creating a seamless pathway for individuals who want to start their degree work at Central Piedmont and complete their degree at UNC Charlotte. This innovative co-admission approach allows both Central Piedmont and UNC Charlotte to engage in a fully integrated, proactive advising model, ensuring students' progress toward the timely completion of a baccalaureate degree. As participants in the 49erNext Program, students are eligible to transfer into more than 75 undergraduate degree programs (130+ majors) at UNC Charlotte, as long as they earn an associate degree at Central Piedmont with a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.
The Peggy and Bob Culbertson 49erNext Scholarship Program will provide two-year, full-tuition scholarships to full-time students with financial need who are in the 49erNext Program. News of both 49erNext and the Peggy and Bob Culbertson 49erNext Scholarship was shared today at a signing ceremony held by UNC Charlotte and Central Piedmont at UNC Charlotte's Center City Building. John Culbertson spoke at the ceremony on behalf of his parents.
"We are big on upward mobility and believe education is absolutely the best answer," Culbertson said. "Our goal is to give those who need financial assistance the opportunity to attend school. Central Piedmont is the perfect place for our gift because we can help students training for a vocational career and college transfer students.
A pilot class of 111 students opened the 49erNext program in August. This past year, about 4,000 transfer students enrolled at UNC Charlotte--69 percent came from a North Carolina community college, and 29 percent of those came from Central Piedmont.
"Central Piedmont is excited about the 49erNext program because it offers students a direct pathway to a four-year degree as well as an avenue to greater economic mobility," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "Institutions the size of Central Piedmont and UNC Charlotte sometimes can be challenging to navigate for students. Those students in the 49erNext program will have a clearly marked map leading from one institution to the next. This program will serve the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community well as we seek to produce more individuals with bachelor's degrees to meet our growing workforce demands.
When describing Ricky Brown Jr.'s educational journey, the word "traditional" doesn't immediately come to mind.
Raised by his grandparents, he didn't attend college directly after high school graduation. Instead, he began a full-time career at Goodyear where he slowly but surely climbed the corporate ladder.
Even though he was making strides at Goodyear and building a successful career with the company, Ricky wanted more, for both himself and his family. He no longer wanted to live paycheck to paycheck or be embarrassed to have to say "no" when asked about his education status on applications, forms, etc. He decided it was time to earn a college degree.
Unfortunately, before he could take that next step in his life plan, he was involved in a serious motorcycle accident. To make matters worse, doctors discovered a congenital heart disorder during recovery that would require him to undergo countless surgeries, therapy sessions, and more.
Despite this setback, he enrolled in college, choosing Central Piedmont because its multi-campus footprint was convenient for his lifestyle and its robust Comprehensive Articulation Agreement with surrounding four-year colleges would ensure all of the credits he earned would 100 percent transfer to East Carolina University, where he planned to complete his B.S. in Communications (ECU).
Upon enrolling in 2007, he was awarded a Levine Scholarship, which to Ricky, was the largest blessing of all. "The Levine Scholarship was extremely beneficial," he says. "It helped partially offset the medical expenses I incurred during college, allowing me to focus more on obtaining my Associate in Science degree and less on my finances."
Thanks to Central Piedmont's flexible learning schedule, Ricky started back to school slowly, choosing to take online courses because they could easily fit in-between his physical therapy sessions. Focusing on his studies helped him keep his mind engaged while his body recovered.
During his time at Central Piedmont, Ricky fostered a variety of relationships with peers and faculty alike, and generated a number of professional connections as well. "I still communicate with Dr. Anne McIntosh, one of my instructors from Central Piedmont. In fact, she continues to support my professional and academic endeavors to this day."
Since graduating from Central Piedmont in 2009, Ricky earned his bachelor's degree from ECU, continues to work at Goodyear in Internal Audit, was accepted into the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), and is attending graduate school at East Carolina University, pursuing an MBA, which he is projected to complete in spring 2020. After graduate school, he's considering earning a Ph.D.
"My goal is to continue to grow and develop into the best version of myself," he says. "I would love to one day give back to Central Piedmont -- the institution that gave me the foothold I needed to succeed in all areas of my life."
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Congratulations to Jeani Orr, Central Piedmont Cytotechnology student, who recently was awarded the Cytotechnology Bob Gay scholarship.
The scholarship was established by Kim Kowalczik in memory of her father, Bob Gay, who made significant contributions to the education of cytotechnology students and was a founding member of the American Society of Cytotechnology (ASCT). The scholarship awards $1,000 and sponsorship (travel and accommodations) to the upcoming ASCT annual conference to an outstanding student.
Candidates must have completed the first six months of training in an accredited cytotechnology program and must be members of the ASCT. The award is based on academic performance, financial need, service and a demonstrated potential to make significant contributions to the cytotechnology profession. Student membership with ASCT is complimentary and is a requirement for the scholarship application. Read more
Thanks to the Anthony Foxx Scholarship, Jamal Moss was able to attend Central Piedmont Community College a place where he says he "found everyone."
"There were days when I wasn't even on my own side," explains Jamal. "But thanks to Central Piedmont's staff members, I was able to overcome life's obstacles, stay grounded and know that I was going to succeed. The Central Piedmont team was not only my greatest source of support, but also my biggest cheerleader."
With this support system on his side, Jamal was able to focus on his studies; enjoy the resources at his disposal, including SGA, MAN UP, and Service Club; and graduate from Central Piedmont in 2012 with an associate degree.
Jamal used his Central Piedmont degree as the launch pad for what has become an impressive educational journey. Since graduating, he's earned a bachelor's degree in biological sciences from N.C. State, a master's degree in bioethics and science policy from Duke University, and is currently a first year medical student at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee.
During that time, he became affiliated with multiple causes and initiatives that he continues to be involved with today, including the Racial Equity Task Force for the City of Durham and the N.C. State College of Sciences Alumni Advisory Board, among others.
And while Jamal's sights are clearly set on the road that lies ahead, he's quick to remember the many people and places that got him where he is today.
"I use the values of community, accountability, trust, and integrity that I learned at Central Piedmont to guide my current work in the healthcare field," says Jamal. "Attending Central Piedmont allowed me to explore new opportunities and take new adventures experiences that will help me create a diverse portfolio of work that will not only enhance my résumé, but also my pursuit of one day becoming a physician and community advocate in the medical field."
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The State Employees' Credit Union (SECU) is providing 10 Corporate and Continuing Education scholarships to eligible Central Piedmont students who are enrolled in the college's continuing education welding classes during the fall 2019 semester.
Each $500 scholarship will help a student gain the new job-related welding skills they need to succeed in the field or upgrade their current welding skills to excel in the workforce. Scholarship funding may be applied toward the cost of registration fees, books, certification fees, course supplies, and other educational expenses associated with the college's "Introduction to Stick Welding" continuing education course.
Learn more about the scholarship:
- Must be a U.S. citizen and a North Carolina resident.
- Must be in one of the following target groups: An unemployed or underemployed adult, member of the N.C. National Guard, a military veteran or spouse, or an underserved population in a specific workforce sector or area. Note: Underemployed will be defined as individuals earning 200% below the federal poverty level. Preference will be given to students with limited or no access to financial aid from other programs.
- Must enroll in "Introduction to Stick Welding," a course which leads to an industry-recognized credential.
- Must not be an employee or family member of an employee of the State Employees' Credit Union or SECU Foundation.
Application and Selection Criteria
Interested and eligible students should complete the application to be considered for the scholarship. The scholarship awardees will be selected by the Central Piedmont SECU Scholarship Selection Committee. All decisions are final.
For additional information, contact Becky Hall at email@example.com or at 704.330.4204.
This scholarship is credited to the student's business office account for related tuition, books, and fees.