Jamal Moss ’12 didn’t let his high school counselor at West Charlotte High School talk him out of applying to CPCC. “She wanted me to attend N.C. Central University or N.C. A&T,”
explains Jamal. “She was afraid I wouldn’t succeed at CPCC; that I would become another statistic.
Evidently, it was a trend the counselor had seen many times before – young African-American male plans to apply to a two-year college, attend and one day transfer to a four-year institution, only to fail.
Fortunately for Jamal, the counselor didn’t know him and his ability to defy the odds at all costs.
Jamal’s upbringing differed from his peers at West Charlotte. He was primarily raised by his grandmother and attended Myers Park High School his first three years of high school, an environment where the majority of students went on to successfully attend and graduate from college after high school. As a result, Jamal was exposed at an early age to a world outside of his West Charlotte High School bubble – a world that helped him understand that it was possible to explore, to break the cycle and to want more for his future.
However, Jamal quickly realized his future wasn’t going to create itself – he had to build it with his own hands. That’s when Jamal began researching colleges. He knew his options were limited – he came from a low-income, single parent home – and travel/moving expenses would stretch the family’s budget. So he began looking for colleges in Charlotte and learned about CPCC and its burgeoning Anthony Foxx Scholarship opportunity.
The Anthony Foxx Scholarship is a partnership between CPCC and West Charlotte High School that helps African-American males overcome financial obstacles and receive the assistance they need to earn a degree. Selected students receive a $2,000 scholarship; participate in the college’s Summer Bridge program to help them get a head start on their college career by taking classes over a six-week period; and join MAN UP, a mentoring group that promotes personal development, academic success and educational advancement among minority male students.
Thanks to the Anthony Foxx Scholarship, Jamal was able to attend CPCC – a place where he says he “found everyone.”
“There were days when I wasn’t even on my own side,” explains Jamal. “But thanks to CPCC’s staff members, I was able to overcome life’s obstacles, stay grounded and know that I was going to succeed. The CPCC team was not only my greatest source of support, but also my biggest cheerleader.”
With this support system on his side, Jamal was able to focus on his studies; enjoy the resources at his disposal, including MAN UP, which taught him how to better express himself, follow his heart and be loyal to others; and graduate from CPCC in 2012 with an associate degree.
Upon graduating from CPCC, he pursued his bachelor’s degree at N.C. State and was recently accepted into Duke University’s master’s program, which he’ll begin in August 2017.
While Jamal’s sights are clearly set on the road that lies ahead, he’s also quick to remember the many people and places that got him where he is today – mainly Anthony Foxx and CPCC. “CPCC’s Anthony Foxx Scholarship opened up so many doors for me,” says Jamal. “High school students thinking of attending CPCC should definitely consider applying for the scholarship. It gives you the financial breathing room you need to pay for college, providing you with an opportunity to chart your own path to success.”
To learn more about the Anthony Foxx Scholarship at CPCC, visit cpcc.edu/mentoring.