Maria Jimenez
Headshot of CPCC Student Maria Jimenez

In the midst of violent protests and riots, Maria Jimenez made a difficult choice to leave her home country of Venezuela to study English in Charlotte. Maria wanted to further her education in the city she fell in love with, but didn't know where to start. Her English mentor revealed many of her students enrolled at Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) in search of opportunity. Maria decide to follow in their footsteps.

Maria was moved by the passion of Dr. Chris Brawley's teaching in her first class on campus and immediately knew she made the right decision to enroll. She met with a career counselor to discover her true passion for communication and new media design. Getting involved in college organizations such as the Student Government Association (SGA), Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society, Global Student Association, Ruth G. Shaw Scholars program and Student Ambassadors program filled the void of leaving her family and friends.

"The diversity in the student body has been my true support," she said. "Starting over without family or friends in this country was my biggest challenge; however, meeting people from different countries who have been on similar paths made me feel understood and not alone anymore."

"CPCC was the best place to start my education. Not only did I find a high-quality education, but I also discovered meaningful programs and associations which helped me grow in a professional and academic environment. CPCC gave me the opportunity to develop into the person I have always wanted to be," she said.