Christopher St. Hilaire felt isolated in high school and dropped out at just 15 years old. He later completed his studies, earning his GED from Central Piedmont in 2015. He immediately joined the workforce, working as a server at Ballantyne Country Club. A club member recognized St. Hilaire’s potential and urged him to go back to school. Thankfully, St. Hilaire heeded his friend’s advice and enrolled where he was most familiar: Central Piedmont.
“I came in with a mission. I came in with a goal … to make something happen. And I think the biggest takeaway from my experience is that, yes, what I do matters, but also that what community college students do matters. That just because you’re attending a community college doesn’t mean that what you do is any less important than what someone does at Princeton or at Harvard. It matters.”
Back on campus, St. Hilaire decided to be a part of everything the college community had to offer – Student Government Association, Rotaract, Model UN and Phi Theta Kappa. He excelled at Central Piedmont, and will graduate this week with an Associate (Transfer) Degree. This fall, St. Hilaire will move to New Jersey, where he will study philosophy at Princeton University on a full scholarship as one of only 13 community college students in the country to be admitted to the Ivy League school for the fall term.
“You can make something happen, too. You really can. You can make something great happen. You can transform your life. … I mean, Central Piedmont’s motto is ‘Conquer Possibility. So why not try?” says St. Hilaire.