Central Piedmont receives $1 million gift from Coca-Cola Consolidated for scholarships, program support

CHARLOTTE, NC Central Piedmont Community College has received a $1 million gift from Coca-Cola Consolidated to support U.S. military veterans and first responder scholarships, provide program support, and assist with other critical needs at the college.

Central Piedmont provides its military veteran students a range of services in a purposeful and caring way aimed at helping them transition from military service to civilian success in the classroom and the community while accessing all available veterans benefits. The college's first responder or public safety programs include Basic Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice, Emergency Medicine, Fire Protection, and Public Safety Administration.

Headquartered in Charlotte, Coca-Cola Consolidated is the largest Coca-Cola bottler in the United States, serving consumers, customers and communities for more than 122 years. The company makes, sells and distributes beverages of The Coca-Cola Company and other partner companies in more than 300 brands and flavors across 14 states and the District of Columbia to approximately 60 million consumers. Coca-Cola Consolidated was named the "World's Most Admired Company" by Fortune and "America's Most Successful Midsize Company" by Forbes in 2024.

"We are honored to partner with Central Piedmont to support U.S. military veterans and first responders in this way," said Morgan Everett, Vice Chair, Coca-Cola Consolidated. "Our purpose to serve others includes extending a pathway to opportunity, and we hope this gift will provide critical job-readiness skills to our community members as they enter the workforce."

Recognizing the growing need for public safety professionals in Mecklenburg County, Central Piedmont launched a new associate degree program in Public Safety Administration in August 2023. The two-year program offers students multiple tracks to tailor their experience toward their desired career or current field of expertise. The program tracks include security and loss prevention, emergency and fire management, law enforcement, and corrections.

"Central Piedmont thanks Coca-Cola Consolidated for its generous gift in support of our military veteran and first responder students," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "This gift will ease the financial burdens of deserving students who have chosen to serve their country and protect our community. Coca-Cola Consolidated's support will have a significant and positive impact for generations to come."

The Coca-Cola Consolidated gift is the latest initiative in a multi-year partnership between the company and the college. Coca-Cola Consolidated and Central Piedmont also have collaborated to develop a unique workplace learning program. The Coca-Cola Consolidated Apprenticeship Program is a hands-on learning opportunity that provides paid apprenticeships to stimulate interest in high-demand positions in the manufacturing, equipment repair, and logistics sectors at Coke Consolidated's facilities in the Charlotte area. Through the program, apprentices work approximately 20 hours weekly while completing three to four college courses each semester. Apprentices transition to full-time positions upon successful completion of the program.

About Central Piedmont

Central Piedmont Community College is highly accessible and convenient to people of all ages who seek a real-world, affordable, hands-on education that will transform their lives and strengthen the economic, social, and cultural environment of Mecklenburg County. Central Piedmont is a smart investment. At a fraction of the cost, students learn by doing, receiving a combination of technical and soft skills training from quality faculty who prepare them to enter the workforce and make a difference in their family, business, community, and world. Founded in 1963, Central Piedmont Community College has eight locations throughout Mecklenburg County, offering nearly 300 degree, diploma, and certification programs; customized corporate training; market-focused continuing education; and special interest classes. For more information, visit cpcc.edu, or connect with the college on social media.

About Coca-Cola Consolidated, Inc.

Coca-Cola Consolidated is the largest Coca-Cola bottler in the United States. Our Purpose is to honor God in all we do, to serve others, to pursue excellence and to grow profitably. For over 122 years, we have been deeply committed to the consumers, customers and communities we serve and are passionate about the broad portfolio of beverages and services we offer. We make, sell and distribute beverages of The Coca-Cola Company and other partner companies in more than 300 brands and flavors across 14 states and the District of Columbia, to approximately 60 million consumers.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Coca-Cola Consolidated is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol "COKE." More information about the company is available online. Follow Coca-Cola Consolidated on FacebookXInstagram and LinkedIn. 

Posted in Foundation News.

Recent Central Piedmont graduate wins Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has announced the selection of 60 community college students from across the United States as recipients of the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. This highly competitive award allows students to complete their undergraduate degrees at four-year institutions with minimal financial burden. 

Monisha "Mo" Pirela, who graduated from Central Piedmont Community College on May 9, is one of the scholarship recipients. Pirela earned an associate in applied science degree in Architectural Technology at Central Piedmont. A Truist Honors Scholar and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Pirela will attend UNC Charlotte with the start of it fall 2024 semester. Pirela is the only 2024 Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship recipient from North Carolina.

According to Community College Research Center data, transfer pathways from community colleges are a significant contributor to enrollment and diversity at four-year institutions. However, a lack of scholarship opportunities for transfer students, as well as other obstacles like losing credits during the transfer process, continue to keep bachelor's degree completion rates low.

One objective of the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is to give scholars the opportunity to graduate with as little debt as possible. The award, which is last-dollar funding after all other institutional aid, can provide as much as $55,000 a year. In addition to the financial support, Cooke Transfer Scholars receive comprehensive educational advising guidance that is crucial for navigating their transition to four-year colleges and planning their career paths. Cooke Scholars also benefit from access to internship opportunities, study abroad and graduate school funding, as well as a dynamic network of over 3,000 Cooke Scholars and Alumni. 

This year's application saw nearly 1,700 applications from more than 380 community colleges. Applicants were evaluated on their academic prowess, financial need, and leadership qualities.

Central Piedmont offers its students a number of direct-transfer pathway options, which are guaranteed admission programs through which students who earn an associate degree can transfer directly to a four-year college or university. Several of the pathway programs include scholarships and other financial assistance. See the Central Piedmont website for more details.

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded almost $282 million in scholarships to more than 3,300 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive educational advising and other support services. The Foundation has also provided $133 million in grants to organizations that serve such students.

Posted in Foundation News.

Central Piedmont Holds Spring 2024 Commencement Ceremony

Central Piedmont Community College held its 2024 spring commencement ceremonies on Thursday, May 9, at the Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte. More than 1,025 students "marched" and received their college credentials during the morning and afternoon ceremonies. 

Central Piedmont's tradition is to have graduating students serve as commencement keynote speakers. During the morning festivities, Ndianor Gbandala, a 2024 graduate, addressed her peers by delivering the commencement address. Brianna Duncan, also a 2024 graduate, spoke at the afternoon ceremony. Gbandala graduated with an associate degree in Medical Laboratory Technology. Duncan has earned an associate degree in Nursing. 

Both Gbandala and Duncan shared how they overcame struggles and challenges to complete their program of studies and received warm rounds of applause from their fellow graduates and audience members.

Students graduating from Central Piedmont with a degree, diploma, or certificate could participate in either the morning or afternoon ceremony. Central Piedmont combined its for-credit and non-credit program conferrals into both ceremonies, allowing graduates to "walk" at the time that best fits their families' schedules.

Posted in Foundation News.