Central Piedmont is excited to announce that its second cohort of STRIVE Scholars graduated yesterday during a special commencement ceremony on the college's Harris Campus.
The STRIVE (Strengthening Teachers. Reaching Individuals. Valuing Everyone.) Scholars program is a joint early childhood education initiative between the college, Mecklenburg County, The Foundation for the Carolinas, and the Charlotte Executive Leadership Council that seeks to address a local shortage in the public Pre-K teacher workforce. The program accomplishes this goal by removing the many financial and personal barriers students who are pursuing an associate degree in early childhood education may face by providing them with better access and the support services they need to succeed.
Founded in January 2020, the STRIVE Scholars Program has graduated 38 students to date. Twenty-five scholars graduated from the program during the May 10 ceremony, and more STRIVE scholarships are set to be awarded to eligible students in summer and fall 2022.
The program provides full tuition, fees, books, and materials funding to academically-qualified applicants preparing to become educators of young children in Mecklenburg County. In addition to receiving financial assistance, scholars also receive access to mental health supports, professional and personal development opportunities, and can apply for need-based support, including assistance with transportation and child care.
"The STRIVE Scholars program supports higher education access by removing barriers that may cause a student to lose focus and not be able to give 100 percent to their studies," said Toria Grant, STRIVE recruitment project manager and an early childhood education instructor at Central Piedmont. "This program helps us produce graduates who are prepared to serve the county's ever-growing pre-k population by providing Mecklenburg's youngsters with a high quality pre-K education that will better prepare them for their primary education and achieving academic success in the future."
A donor who wishes to remain anonymous has made a $10-million gift commitment to Central Piedmont Community College. The gift is the single-largest individual donation in Central Piedmont's 58-year history and among the largest gifts ever made to a community college nationwide.
Central Piedmont will use the gift to transform its role as a community resource for arts and humanities programming and learning. Plans for the gift include:
- establishing an endowment that provides resources to attract and retain outstanding arts and humanities faculty members;
- creating a scholarship endowment to provide Opportunity Scholarships for students who are pursuing degrees in arts and humanities;
- creating and launching an arts and humanities series which will bring renowned authors, artists, and performers to Central Piedmont for the benefit of students, faculty, staff and the greater Charlotte-Mecklenburg community;
- establishing a public art fund, which will provide resources to commission public art for the enhancement of outdoor spaces at the college, enriching the lives of students, faculty, staff and visitors on a daily basis;
- enhancing instruction in the visual arts; and
- creating an endowment to support and expand instruction and learning in the arts and humanities at the college.
"This magnanimous gift will strengthen Central Piedmont's capacity to educate, train, and empower well-rounded individuals who will understand, appreciate, and participate in the rich and diverse cultural traditions that strengthen the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "The generous donor believes regardless of students' academic background and desired education and career pathway, their perspectives should include experiences in the arts and humanities to achieve a better comprehension of the past, a better analysis of the present, and a better view of the future. Through our conversations, it's clear the donor believes Central Piedmont is a critical community resource for Mecklenburg County residents beginning their higher education journey, seeking skills to build a family-sustaining career, or needing additional credentials for career growth.
"A gift of this magnitude will be transformative for the college and the community. As a result of this gift, Central Piedmont students will gain a greatly enhanced appreciation of the arts and humanities, aiding them as they build productive lives of meaning and service. At the same time, Central Piedmont will be able to establish itself as a national leader in arts and humanities education among community colleges," Deitemeyer added.
The $10-million gift commitment comes to the college as part of its ongoing "Powering a Stronger Future campaign." Powering a Stronger Future is an ambitious, five-year, comprehensive, fundraising effort focused on providing students with greater access to outstanding educational and career-preparation opportunities, addressing the workforce needs of business and industry in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. The campaign will conclude on June 30, 2022.
The Mecklenburg County Pre-K initiative, the Foundation for the Carolinas, the Comprehensive Early Learning Center, and the Central Piedmont Foundation have awarded Central Piedmont's early childhood education program a $4 million grant to create the STRIVE Scholars program.
The program provides full tuition, fees, books, and materials funding to academically qualified students preparing to become educators of young children in Mecklenburg County.
According to research conducted by Mecklenburg County, Charlotte's workforce lacks the postsecondary education necessary to assure the quality of its lead and assistant Pre-K teachers in the classroom.
The college's STRIVE Scholars program seeks to address this workforce need by providing students who are pursuing an Associate in Applied Science or certificate in early childhood education with better access to a higher education and need-based support services, including:
- child care
In addition, the program will provide Scholars with comprehensive support services, such as academic advising, mentoring, and more, to ensure their academic success.
The early childhood education program is grateful and excited to be a part of this important initiative to bring universal pre-kindergarten to Mecklenburg County.
Learn more about the STRIVE Scholarship.
Central Piedmont's Opportunity Scholarship Initiative provides low-income students with a pathway to a degree and greater economic mobility by covering the full cost of attendance tuition, books, and fees for two years. Recipients also receive a notebook computer to meet their digital needs.
Central Piedmont's $52,500 grant is part of a larger, $9.25 million commitment the Lowes Foundation made to the greater Charlotte region on Oct. 13, to support some of the most critical challenges facing Charlotte today: providing safe affordable housing, continuing to grow the skilled trade industry, ensuring access to technology, and boosting small businesses hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Central Piedmont will use its grant funds to support students participating in the ROC (Rebuilding Opportunities in Construction) program an initiative that trains and certifies high school students for in-demand trade skills in the construction industry and/or students who are interested in pursuing a construction-focused career pathway.
Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company, through its charitable giving arm The Dowd Foundation, has awarded Central Piedmont Community College a $1-million grant to support plumbing and pipefitting scholarships and instruction at the college.
Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company, founded in 1901, has a deep and ongoing interest in strengthening Charlotte's construction and infrastructure sectors. Charlotte Pipe, the nation's leading manufacturer of cast iron and plastic pipe and fittings for plumbing applications, has been working for more than a century to ensure the plumbing and pipefitting trades remain viable career paths for future generations.
"Charlotte Pipe and Foundry and The Dowd Foundation are proud to support the plumbing and pipefitting trades," said Hooper Hardison, president of Charlotte Pipe and Foundry. "We know how essential these career paths can be for young people, as well as for our nation's infrastructure. We are delighted we have resources like Central Piedmont in our region to provide an education pipeline for the construction trades."
Central Piedmont will allocate Charlotte Pipe's gift in the following ways to recognize the company's important role in the region's plumbing and pipefitting sectors:
- Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company Scholarship Fund ($500,000)--This is a permanently endowed scholarship fund that will provide support for financially needy students enrolled in Central Piedmont plumbing and pipefitting courses.
- Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company Instructional Fund ($500,000)--This fund will support instruction in plumbing and pipefitting at Central Piedmont, providing the resources needed to purchase equipment and materials, invest in faculty development and address instructional capacity.
"We are so grateful to Charlotte Pipe and The Dowd Foundation for this generous and impactful grant," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "The Charlotte region needs many more skilled tradespersons, such as plumbers and pipefitters. These are stable, sustainable, and well-paying careers. This grant will help the college recruit and educate more individuals, setting them on a path to career success and economic mobility."
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 also 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 at cpcc.edu/social.
About Charlotte Pipe and Foundry
Charlotte Pipe and Foundry is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. and has seven plant locations across the United States. The nation's leading maker of cast iron and plastic pipe and fittings for plumbing applications, Charlotte Pipe and Foundry has been in continuous operation since 1901 and remains privately held. charlottepipe.com
The rock band Metallica's All Within My Hands Foundation (AWMH) has once again selected Central Piedmont Community College to participate in the second iteration of the Metallica Scholars Initiative a program that supports career and technical education programs at community colleges across the nation.
In 2018, the band partnered with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), to select 10 community colleges from across the country that best demonstrated support of relevant jobs skill training for community college students. Central Piedmont was one of the 10 colleges chosen to receive $100,000. The college used the funds to help Central Piedmont students gain the training they needed to enter the workforce. These students became the college's first cohort of Metallica Scholars.
Year two of the Metallica Scholars Initiative:
- awards a $50,000 grant to the original 10 colleges, and challenges each institution to match the grant amount. As a result, the overall grant investment in career and technical education at each college will total $100,000.
- includes expanding the program in 2020 from 10 to 15 schools. The five new community college partners will each receive a $100,000 grant, making AWMH's cumulative contribution $1.5 million.
"We are proud to report that 80 percent of our Metallica Scholars who were scheduled to graduate in the 2019 spring and summer semesters were successful," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. "The Metallica Scholars Initiative is transforming lives, providing students with the financial assistance and support services they need to succeed inside and outside the classroom."
Central Piedmont will continue to use the grant funds to provide direct support for students enrolled in one of four healthcare career programs but who need financial assistance to complete their studies and become licensed healthcare professionals. The project will continue to focus on high-demand healthcare programs, including dental assisting, medical assisting, ophthalmic medical personnel, and pharmacy technology, and will target underrepresented students who would not be able to complete their program or obtain credentials without financial support. The goal of the initiative is to ensure students receive relevant jobs skills that will make them competitive in the healthcare field.
AWMH works closely with AACC to implement and manage the program. Recipient colleges of the group's 2020 $1,500,000 grant are all AACC members and are located in communities visited by Metallica during its recent U.S. tour.
"Central Piedmont helped me see myself in a place that I couldn't before," says Student Government Vice President and Opportunity Scholar Yeisha Calderon.
Your gift to the Central Piedmont Foundation powers a stronger future for students like Yeisha every day. Listen to her story below.
To donate, visit www.cpccfoundation.org/donation.
To learn more about Powering A Stronger Future, visit www.cpccfoundation.org/campaign.
Steele's Mechanical, a mechanical contracting firm based in Lancaster, S.C., presented the Central Piedmont Foundation with a $50,000 gift on Dec. 19, to support scholarships for student veterans at the college. Steele's Mechanical President Dan Bailey, a Central Piedmont alumnus and U.S. veteran, visited the college's Central Campus to present the check to Dr. Kevin McCarthy, vice president for institutional advancement, and Aimee Brunton, director of development for Central Piedmont.
"As a U.S. veteran, I understand the financial difficulties student veterans face when trying to identify the funding needed to pay for college," said Bailey. "When I was a student, I saw several of my fellow veterans leave school because they couldn't afford it even with GI Bill assistance. That's why Steele's Mechanical decided to host a charity golf tournament this fall, to generate the scholarship funding needed to ensure Central Piedmont's student veterans receive the financial aid they need to complete their education without worrying about going into debt."
The monies gifted to the college were raised during the company's inaugural Nov. 6 charity golf tournament, held at Springfield Golf and Country Club, in Fort Mill, S.C. More than 120 players attended the event, which raised $25,000 for student veteran scholarships. Thanks to Steele's Mechanical overall gift match, the final gift totaled $50,000.
Bailey and his family have a rich history with Central Piedmont. Bailey's father, James, was an employee at Central Piedmont from 1977-2012. It was this early exposure to Central Piedmont that spurred Bailey to enroll at the college in 2010 after serving as a construction engineer and paratrooper in the U.S. Army from 1999-2005. As a member of the student body, Bailey was active in the college's student veteran's association, serving as its president in 2010 and 2011; participated in Phi Theta Kappa; and coached Central Piedmont's soccer team. He graduated from Central Piedmont in 2012 with an Associate in Applied Science degree.
"It's rewarding to see alumni, like Dan, giving back to their alma mater in such a meaningful way," said McCarthy. "His company's gift will help our student veterans overcome the financial barriers that stand in their way of achieving the personal and professional success they deserve."
To learn more about giving opportunities at Central Piedmont, please visit cpccfoundation.org/giving/ways-to-give-outright-gifts. Read more
Raven Bell is pursuing her dream of becoming a pediatrician at Central Piedmont. Your gift this #GivingTuesday helps empower students like Raven to reach their full potential and create #aStrongerFuture for all of us.
To donate, visit www.cpccfoundation.org/donation.
To learn more about Powering A Stronger Future, visit www.cpccfoundation.org/campaign.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. Central Piedmont Community College has launched the public phase of its "Powering a Stronger Future" campaign. The five-year fundraising effort seeks to raise $40 million the most ambitious and comprehensive campaign in the college's 56-year history.
The campaign will run through June 2022, and has raised $23.5 million during its two-year quiet phase.
"The Powering a Stronger Future campaign is about students and addressing the upward mobility challenges in Mecklenburg County," Central Piedmont President Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer explained. "For those who want our community to thrive and want to make an investment education is a game changer. Central Piedmont is a great place to help students thrive and be successful in our community. I think there is no better investment for Mecklenburg's future."
The Powering a Stronger Future campaign priorities include:
- $15 million to fund student scholarships and support the student emergency fund;
- $9.5 million for student support services, such as academic and career advising, leadership opportunities, out-of-classroom experiences, enhanced disability services, and the Summer Bridge program that helps students prepare for their first semester of college;
- $9.5 million to further instructional excellence through support for programs, equipment and other resources and faculty;
- $5 million for specific programs that foster economic mobility, such as the Accelerated Career Training program for under- and unemployed adults, the early childhood education program that trains pre-K teachers, and strategic workforce partnerships; and
- $1 million for the college's annual fund to respond to evolving priorities and needs.
"Central Piedmont is a solid investment for donors because you see the results. You see the results in the lives of Central Piedmont graduates," Rodgers shared. "What they carry with them from Central Piedmont is the education of a lifetime, and it changes their lives and the lives around them.
"My time at Central Piedmont was life changing. It meant so much to me to have the opportunity to go to the Central Piedmont of my day. When I look at what Central Piedmont is now and the impact it makes, it is just amazing. I know the impact it had on my life, and I think it's fair to say, if you live in this community, Central Piedmont impacts your life as well," Rodgers added.
For more information about the Central Piedmont's Powering a Stronger Future campaign, see http://www.cpccfoundation.org/campaign, or call the Central Piedmont Foundation at 704.330.6869.
"Central Piedmont is a trusted entity," Deitemeyer said. "When this community considers the number of people we need going into the workforce and how we're going to move this great city to the next level that offers prosperity to all, it's going to take an education provider like Central Piedmont. So this campaign is about people and providing pathways to opportunity and greater economic mobility and personal success."
For updates on the progress of Powering a Stronger Future, visit our campaign updates page.
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 also 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 at cpcc.edu/social. Read more
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