To culinary arts student Veronica Jones, food is life.
Before enrolling at Central Piedmont in 2021, Veronica was a law enforcement officer for 25 years, serving the Charlotte community not only in uniform, but also as a servant-leader, stocking food pantries and cooking meals / delivering groceries to the elderly, the homeless, and local families in need.
"Preparing food perfectly combines my life-long passions of serving others with entertaining family and friends," explains Veronica. "Central Piedmont's culinary arts program is exposing me to new, interesting dishes, as well as different cooking techniques. This aligns well with my future career goals to become a food blogger who shares dishes from across the globe with others so they can learn to appreciate other cultures' cuisines."
But before she starts collecting stamps in her passport, she has to complete the culinary arts program. That means focusing on her education a mantra that was instilled in her by her parents as a child.
"My mother grew up in the segregated South during the 1940s and 1950s, picking cotton as a sharecropper in Johnston, South Carolina," explains Veronica. "Sometimes, months went by when she didn't attend school. She and my father didn't want the same thing for me and my eight siblings. So, they reminded us daily how 'a lack of education can lead to a life of poverty.' I've never forgotten that saying; in fact, it's one of the many reasons I take my education so seriously today."
With her parents words in her head, Veronica searched for a quality educational institution, that could not only provide her with the learning schedule she needed, but also a financial aid package that wouldn't cause her to break the bank. She found both at Central Piedmont.
"Central Piedmont has a unique eight-week class schedule that coordinates well with my schedule, giving me the quality time I require with my family," she says. "In addition, the college offered me THREE scholarships that have allowed me to concentrate on my college studies instead of worrying about how I'm going to pay for tuition and books."
That said, Veronica is on track to graduate from Central Piedmont in May 2023, and her parents will be extremely proud yet again.