Charlotte Observer: From High School Dropout to Princeton

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.

Surgical Technology Students Earn 100% Pass Rate on Certification Exam

The Surgical Technology Program is pleased to announce that the May Class of 2020 successfully obtained a 100% passing on the NBSTSA CST exam. The certification demonstrates the individual meets the national standard for knowledge associated with a surgical technologist and surgical first assistance practice.

By earning this designation, student show potential employers they possess a mastery of a broad range of skills related to surgical procedures, aseptic technique, and patient care. And, because certification is voluntary, the choice to become certified exhibits a pride in the profession, the desire to be recognized for mastery of scientific principles, as well as an ongoing commitment to quality patient care.

Please join us in congratulating the following surgical tech students: Daniel Castaneda, Brandy Brown, Hali Burnette, Rachel Dumford, Alexis Scarborough, Samantha Marangone, Alizaya Thomas-White, Dustin Truong, Evelyn Brinkley, and Tatyana Shykal.

Learn more about Central Piedmont’s Surgical Technology program.

Two Central Piedmont Students Headed to Ivy League Schools in Fall 2020

Central Piedmont Community College is excited that two of its 2020 graduates – Koichi Takara and Christopher St. Hilaire – will matriculate to Ivy League schools in fall 2020. Both Takara and St. Hilaire overcame a number of obstacles to reach this milestone in their academic journey. Please read their stories below:

Koichi Takara
After living in Japan for the majority of his childhood, Takara moved to California and graduated from one of their highest-rated public high schools. His résumé was padded with an outstanding SAT score, 4.2 GPA, and an abundance of extracurricular activities. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough, as he was rejected from six of his top seven college choices. To make matters worse, he could not afford the one school that accepted him. As a result, he moved to Huntersville, N.C., and enrolled at Central Piedmont where he flourished. During his time at Central Piedmont, he served as president of the Student Government Association and was an active member of the college’s Rotaract, Phi Theta Kappa chapter, and the NC Scholars of Global Distinction. After graduating from Central Piedmont on May 14, Takara plans to attend Cornell University as a junior on a full ride need-based scholarship. He’ll major in Industrial Labor Relations. Says Takara, “coming to Central Piedmont was the best decision of my life.”

Christopher St. Hilaire
St. Hilaire felt isolated in high school and dropped out at just 15 years of age. 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. 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. “Central Piedmont welcomed me back with open arms and getting involved in its many Student Life and leadership activities made it all worthwhile,” says St. Hilaire.

For more Central Piedmont student success stories, please visit the college’s Facebook page.

Jacob Acompanado Wins #ConquerPossibility Student Video Contest!

In this video, Central Piedmont mechatronics student Jacob Acompanado describes how Central Piedmont is helping him conquer possibility.

Jacob submitted the video into the Student Video Contest and was named the winner!

His efforts earned him two Panthers tickets to the team’s upcoming game against the Jaguars. Congratulations, Jacob!