The Fifth Third Bank Foundation has announced its 2019 Strengthening Our Communities Fund grants for North Carolina. The awards benefit local nonprofit programs that support small business development. The Fifth Third Foundation awarded Central Piedmont Community College a $50,000 grant to support entrepreneurship through a pitch competition.
Central Piedmont designed the "53 Ideas Pitch Competition" to help address income inequality and equity through entrepreneurship. The competition will provide underserved individuals who participate with access to the capital, training resources, and social connections needed to remove barriers, and allow individuals to take an idea and turn it into a viable business. The top prize winner of the competition will receive $10,000 in seed money for a start-up business.
"Fifth Third Bank is committed to strengthening our communities, and we cannot do it alone: it takes strong and engaged partners like Central Piedmont to truly make a difference," said Lee Fite, regional president for Fifth Third Bank in the Mid-Atlantic. "The '53 Ideas Pitch Competition' addresses an essential link between economic mobility and entrepreneurship. The work our partners like Central Piedmont are doing to increase access to capital for entrepreneurs will directly benefit our community."
"Studies show that four out of five entrepreneurs do not access bank loans or venture capital. Rather, their sources of funding are personal net worth, family wealth, or connections to networks," said Renee Hode, executive director of Central Piedmont's Small Business Center. "Unfortunately, this leads to inequality in entrepreneurship. The '53 Ideas Pitch Competition' seeks to expand opportunity for everyone in the greater Charlotte region, especially those populations who may experience barriers or have limited access to resources to start a business."
The "53 Ideas Pitch Competition" is an open call for business ideas from residents across the region. Individuals will have 53 seconds to pitch their idea in the form of a video submission uploaded to 53ideas.com. The submission deadline is Feb. 20, 2020. For open, inclusive access to the needed technology, Central Piedmont's Small Business Center will be hosting pop-up recording events throughout the community. Visit 53ideas.com for pop-up dates and times.
Judges will review the submissions and select the top 53 pitches. Top entrants will advance in the competition and receive a $50 award. Over the following 53 days, the participants will work to refine their ideas and master their pitch before another selection process.
Training and coaching on pitching, marketing, financing, forecasting, and business law will be available to participants, regardless of whether they advance in the competition. Free resources will be offered by Small Business Centers located at community colleges throughout the region, including Central Piedmont, Cleveland, Gaston, Mitchell, Rowan-Cabarrus, South Piedmont, and Stanly.
After the 53-day training period, the top 53 entrants will participate in a closed pitch event where the judges will narrow the field down to 15. The top 15 will receive $200 each and go on to compete on stage for the top awards: first place receives $10,000; second place earns $5,000; and third place receives $2,500 in seed funding to help turn their ideas into a viable business.
The 38 participants who did not advance can still showcase their ideas at an expo before the final pitch event. This gives these participants visibility with event attendees, as well as an opportunity to share their ideas and increase their social networks.
"53 Ideas Pitch Competition" is made possible by the support from the Fifth Third Bank Foundation and the Central Piedmont Foundation, and also the City of Charlotte's Economic Development Office.
Learn more about the "53 Ideas Pitch Competition" at 53ideas.com or upload a video submission by the Feb. 20 deadline.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill launched C-STEP (the Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program) in 2006 to enable more community college students to transfer to and graduate from Carolina. This year, UNC Chapel Hill has expanded C-STEP to include a partnership with Central Piedmont Community College and Guilford Technical Community College, and has launched a new component of the program, Pathways to STEM Success. The additions to the program were made possible by a $1.13 million grant from the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation.
As part of UNC Chapel Hill's mission to provide a high-quality education to North Carolinians of all backgrounds, C-STEP is used to identify high-achieving high school seniors and community college students whose household incomes fall at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Once accepted in C-STEP, students are guaranteed entry to UNC Chapel Hill following the completion of an associate degree with cumulative grade-point averages of at least 3.2 at a partner community college such as Central Piedmont and the 12 other partner schools. Student also receive transition and support services, such as dedicated advising, mentoring, networking opportunities, and special seminars. This support contributes to the program's success. C-STEP students earn their bachelor's degree at a rate of over 85 percent, as opposed to only 17 percent of students completing their bachelor's degree outside of the program.
In addition to the expansion of C-STEP, the new Partners to STEM Success initiative aims to train the next generation of STEM and health professionals. Students in this part of the C-STEP program will receive specific mentoring to prepare them for graduate study or careers in STEM and health professions, and have opportunities for immersive experiences such as summer internships and lab assistantships. Read more
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.
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.
The Student Emergency Grant Fund started at Central Piedmont Community College in 2018. The grant provides short-term financial support to students experiencing an enrollment-threatening financial emergency. It is a one-time grant used by students to cover expenses that require immediate attention. Examples include temporary loss of income or child care, temporary housing needs due to homelessness or sudden loss of housing, replacement of essential items due to theft, fire or other disaster, essential safety needs, medical or dental emergencies, and transportation emergencies.
The Student Emergency Fund benefited 34 students during the 2018-2019 academic year, with an average grant of $230.
Tameka Hill, a mom of four boys and a first-year adult student, received the Student Emergency Grant in the fall of 2018. The grant helped Tameka "not to have to stress about my hardship and lose focus on class and or homework." The grant emphasizes to hard-working students like Tameka that Central Piedmont "truly cares about the students and community."
For more information on the Student Emergency Grant, including how to apply, visit Central Piedmont's website.
Beginning this fall, the Levine Campus will offer expanded course offerings of some of its most in-demand classes on weekday evenings, Fridays, and Saturdays to give students more options to complete a two-year, college transfer degree more quickly.
The new course offerings are comprised of more than 40, high-demand courses. The classes will be offered in sequential order and focus on a variety of general education subjects, ranging from biology and public speaking, to psychology and business.
Offering more courses in the evenings, and on Fridays and Saturdays, will allow the college to better accommodate students' busy schedules, setting them up for success both inside and outside of the classroom.
To learn more, please call Edith McElroy, dean of the Levine Campus, at 704.330.4386.Read more
The Summer Bridge program at Central Piedmont Community College helps recent high school graduates adjust to college life and network with other students and faculty. They are able to jumpstart their academic career and avoid "summer melt," the phenomenon in which high school graduates are excited and plan to attend college but never enroll. According to a June 2018 blog post from the U.S. Department of Education, nearly one-third of high school graduates planning to attend college never make it, and summer melt impacts low-income and first-generation students the hardest.
During the six-week program, students can earn up to six college credits. They participate in activities designed to build college-level academic skills and a sense of community. Associate Dean of Mentoring and Bridge Programs Willie Williams says that students learn the differences between high school and college during the first week at Summer Bridge. The small, structured environment helps students with this transition.
Aslhy Isaias is a first-time college student enrolled in the Associate in Arts degree program for fall 2019. She met Mr. Williams while attending the Summer Bridge orientation with a friend. Mr. Williams explained that going from high school to college was a huge step and not always easy, and he convinced Aslhy to join the program According to Aslhy, Summer Bridge has helped her to "transition easier, learn the way around campus and classrooms, and...make connections."
To learn more about the Summer Bridge program, visit Central Piedmont's website. Read more
Students and alumni have a new way of acquiring CPCC transcripts. The College provides the option of having official transcripts processed electronically. Transcripts are processed and delivered to recipients via email within 30 minutes after requests are received. Electronic transcripts are available for $7.25 - $7.75 per request and can be ordered online at www.cpcc.edu/admissions/student-records/transcripts. Read more
In December 2015, President Obama signed into law the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act. Among other things, this law permanently extends tax benefits for seniors who choose to direct IRA distributions to qualified charities. The benefit applies to taxpayers over the age of 70 ½ and to contributions up to $100,000.
A key benefit of a direct charitable contribution from an IRA to a nonprofit organization, such as Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), is that the donation counts towards an individual's required minimum distribution. A gift from an IRA may also lower income taxes owed at year-end.
Another way to give is to designate a charitable interest as the beneficiary of an IRA. This allows a donor to make a future gift of assets while providing lifetime income to one's self or family members.
Benefits of an IRA contribution are threefold:
- A donor can fulfill charitable intent after income needs are met.
- Donors can provide an annual income for themselves or family members and the leftover balance to a charitable interest such as CPCC.
- Assets which typically carry a heavy tax burden can be left to a charity without the income or estate taxes.
Beginning this fall, Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) will launch a compressed, two-year associate degree program at its Levine Campus in Matthews, N.C., giving students the opportunity to complete their two-year degree in just 12 months. Read more
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