The Gambrell Foundation of Charlotte has pledged $1 million to Central Piedmont Community College to create the Gambrell Opportunity Scholarships. These scholarships will be part of Central Piedmont’s larger Opportunity Scholarship initiative, which seeks to assist some of Mecklenburg County’s most needy and yet deserving high school students forge a path to greater economic mobility.
The Gambrell Foundation grant will support 75 recent graduates of CMS high schools that serve majority low-income student populations. The scholarships will provide for the full cost of earning a two-year associate degree, including tuition, books and fees. All Gambrell scholarship recipients will receive laptop computers and participate in Central Piedmont’s Summer Bridge academic enrichment program. The scholarships also will provide for a full-time academic advisor/career coach to help the students with course selection, internships and career placement or moving on to further education.
“Economic mobility is directly tied to educational opportunity, and we are delighted to partner with Central Piedmont Community College to help open doors and eliminate barriers for deserving students,” said Sally Gambrell Bridgford. “Our investment will help this generation achieve economic self-sufficiency on their path to reach the American dream.
Central Piedmont established the Opportunity Scholarship Initiative in late 2016 to address the economic mobility challenges faced by many CMS students. To date, the college has welcomed 95 Opportunity Scholars in two classes, the first of which will graduate in May 2019.
“We thank the Gambrell Foundation for its generous grant. These scholarships will have a profound, life-changing impact on some deserving students who might not be able to attend college otherwise,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “So many of the young people in our community just need an opportunity, and with a little assistance, they can go on to do great things that will benefit their families and transform our community.”
The first class of Gambrell Opportunity Scholars will begin their studies at Central Piedmont in fall 2019.