NC AHEAD student scholarship for spring 2017. Apply now! Application deadline is Feb. 13!

North Carolina Association on Higher Education and Disability (NC AHEAD) is offering 3 scholarships, which are $500 each for 2017. You must be registered with Disability Services and working with a Disability Counselor in order to apply for the scholarship.

Here is more information about the eligibility criteria from NC AHEAD:

A total of three *scholarships ($500 each) are available—one scholarship will be awarded in each of the following categories:

  • an *undergraduate student enrolled in a program leading to a Bachelor’s Degree at a private college or university in North Carolina
  • The Jim Kessler Scholarship” an *undergraduate student enrolled in a program leading to a Bachelor’s Degree at a public college or university in North Carolina
  • a student enrolled in degree or certificate program at a 2-year/community college in North Carolina

*Please note students are only considered eligible if they are seeking a 2 year degree OR their first bachelor’s degree. Second bachelor degree seeking students are not eligible to receive this award.

Criteria for these scholarships include:

  1. Applicant MUST be an undergraduate student with a disability registered with the disability services office on your campus.
  2. Disability Services Provider at your institution MUST be a member of NC AHEAD for the 2016-2017 academic year
  3. Applicants are evaluated based on: a) leadership and service to campus and/or community, b) academic achievement, c) well-articulated goals
  4. Applicants must have at least a 2.5 GPA

(An unofficial transcript is required that verifies the cumulative GPA from the current institution from beginning of matriculation to the Spring 2017 semester)

The applicants must submit a complete package including the following:

  • Completed Scholarship Application (page 3)
  • Copy of unofficial transcript
  • Two letters of recommendation (one from faculty at College/University and one from another professional from the college/university)
  • One-Two page personal essay including the following:
    • Leadership and service to campus or community
    • Academic achievement
    • Career goals/aspirations

The deadline for the completed scholarship application (including all required documents) is Monday, February 13, 2017 at 5p.m. Scholarships packets are to be submitted to Georgieann Bogdan, Awards, Scholarships and Grants Committee Chair at or fax to 336-271-6634 by the deadline to be considered for the award.  The 2017 Student Scholarship recipients will be announced at the NC AHEAD Spring Conference.

*Please note: The NC AHEAD Scholarship will be applied directly to the recipient’s tuition and will not be made available to be applied to books, living and/or other personal expenses.

View the Disability Services Student Resources page of our website to download the application. Also, let your Disability Counselor know if you are planning to apply. Good luck!

Staff Spotlight: Rachel Megahan receives SSS Award at holiday party

Rachel holding her awardRachel Megahan, Disability Counselor, received the Student Success Services (SSS) award at the annual SSS holiday party on December 14th. She was nominated by her peers for her positive attitude, resourcefulness, and diligent work with staff, faculty, and students. The award was presented to her by the Associate Vice President of SSS, Rita Dawkins, during the event.

Not only did she win the SSS award, but she also took home “Best Dressed” for the Ugly Sweater contest at the party. She had plenty of holiday spirit to show off! Her attire and enthusiasm helped her win the prize of 2 tickets to a CPCC theater show. Pictured below are all of the Ugly Sweater Contest contestants.

Ugly Sweater Contestants Well done Rachel on your award and prize! You certainly earned them both! We are proud of you!


Staff Spotlight: Tina Hardin receives the Dr. Mel Gay Legacy Award at Levine Campus holiday party

Tina Hardin receives Mel Gay Legacy award

One of our very own team members, Tina Hardin, received the Dr. Mel Gay Legacy Award last week at the Levine Campus holiday party. She was one of two staff members to receive the award. Barry Gilmore is the second recipient. They were both presented this award by Dr. Gay’s wife, Dail Gay, pictured above with Barry and Tina.

Reginald Pincham, ESS Director of Levine Campus, wrote about the award and the recipients:

Our Dr. Mel Gay Legacy Award winners were selected because they demonstrate the characteristics that the late Dr. Mel Gay exhibited as our leader on the Levine campus: Commitment, Enthusiasm, Communication, Patience and Teamwork.

Here are some of the comments team members said about both Barry and Tina:


Barry Gilmore, Full-Time team member:

  • He is constantly thinking of ways to better serve students, faculty and staff. He is always concerned about the “Culture of Levine” and how he can affect that culture. If there is a way to advance the culture of unselfishness, the destruction of the silo mentality on Levine campus and have fun while learning he is exploring a way to achieve it.
  • He has an amazing level of commitment to our staff, students and faculty and he carries an enthusiasm and energy for his department that shines through.
  • He displays a great love and caring spirit for the students he serves and is an advocate for student unity.

Tina Hardin, Part-Time team member:

  • This employee is a joy to work with and clearly demonstrates and embodies the Mel Gay Legacy award criteria.
  • She is caring, kind and responsive to both students and colleagues.
  • She is very patient with everyone, extremely knowledgeable about her department’s role at CPCC and displays a great passion for the service she gives to students.

Disability Services is extremely proud of Tina. Congratulations on this well-deserved award!


NC AHEAD offers 3 student scholarships for 2016! Application deadline is 2/5/16!

Click here for the application form and instructions for the 2016 NC AHEAD Student Scholarships.  A total of three *scholarships ($500 each) are available—one scholarship will be awarded in each of the following categories:

  •  an *undergraduate student enrolled in a program leading to a Bachelor’s Degree at a private college or university in North Carolina
  • an *undergraduate student enrolled in a program leading to a Bachelor’s Degree at a public college or university in North Carolina
  • a student enrolled in degree or certificate program at a 2-year/community college in North Carolina

*Please note students are only considered eligible if they are seeking a 2 year degree OR their first bachelor’s degree. Second bachelor degree seeking students are not eligible to receive this award.

Criteria for these scholarships include:

  1. Applicant MUST be an undergraduate student with a disability registered with the disability services office on your campus.
  2. Disability Services Provider at your institution MUST be a member of NC AHEAD for the 2014-15 academic year
  3. Applicants are evaluated based on
    a) leadership and service to campus and/or community
    b) academic achievement
    c) well-articulated goals
  4. Applicants must have at least a 2.5 GPA

Disability Counselors at CPCC are members of NC AHEAD! Contact your assigned Disability Counselor today if you are applying for this scholarship. Don’t wait until it’s too late!

The deadline to apply is February 5, 2016! Good luck!

Staff Spotlight: Valerie Johnson, Administrative Assistant II

Valerie “Val” Johnson works on the front lines and behind the scenes to make Disability Services run smoothly. She shows true dedication and commitment to the department and the college every day on the job. Her helper personality drives her to go the extra mile for students and the staff. As a result she won the employee recognition award for Student Success Services in 2014, which was very well deserved. She is also very active within the college and outside of work to provide help and service to the community.

Here is some Q & A with Valerie to help you get to know her better!

Valerie Johnson, Administrative Assistant II

Q: How long have you worked at CPCC?
A: I worked part-time at CPCC as an Accounting Clerk at the Harris Campus from June 2006 –2007. I returned in February 2010 as a part-time Senior Administrative Clerk for Disability Services. In 2011, I was promoted to an Administrative Assistant II. I’ve been working as a full-time employee for four and a half years.

Q: What other professional jobs have you held in the past?
A: Prior to working at CPCC, I worked in property management for 20 years as a Property Manager and I supervised the maintenance staff.

Q: What are your areas of expertise?
A: My areas of expertise are in accounting, administrative skills, and networking. Also helping people to become empowered with purpose and to better themselves when society has overlooked them.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job at CPCC?
A: I truly enjoy the opportunity to enhance my skills and talents, through professional development training, department projects and free curriculum courses.

Q: What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?
A: I enjoy family time, music, reading, preforming arts, networking, and community outreach.

Q: What do you want others to know about you?
A: I am a member of the nurse’s ministry at my church, a grandmother, a mentor at CPCC WPG, and a Member of Dress For Success Professional Women’s Group. I’m also a Certified Notary Public and Signing Agent. Finally, I am the Vice President of People Helping People Outreach.

Disability Services is honored with an award from CPCC’s Student Veterans of America

Disability Services receives award from SVA

Disability Services was honored with an award from SVA on 4/24/15. Left to right: Curtis Chancy Jr., Laurie Jachym, Mary Stevenson, Gavora Jones, Kayla Earley, Rachel Megahan, Alysia Leak, Christopher Bowins, Minnie Brown. Photo credit: Dana Pianowski.

Central Piedmont Community College’s Student Veteran’s Association honored Disability Services with an award during the Change of Command Ceremony on April 24, 2015. The award was given as a token of appreciation, as Disability Services works with many student Veterans. The staff were surprised and pleased to receive this award. SVA honored several staff, faculty, and students during the ceremony. Also, the new SVA president, Christopher Bowins, delivered his inauguration speech, which was very moving and powerful. After the ceremony, SVA provided a catered reception to the guests. All in all, it was an enjoyable event that Disability Services was very proud to be apart of to support SVA. We look forward to a continued partnership with SVA and the Center for Military Families and Veterans.

Scholarships for Students with Disabilities (Summer & Fall deadlines)

Written by Kayla Earley, Lab Facilitator

Need help paying for school? Think it would be nice to pay half-price for assistive technology? Some organizations award scholarships and assistive technology grants specifically to students with disabilities! Check out these examples.

For more information about scholarships offered specifically to students with disabilities, visit


Financial Aid and Scholarships Available for Students with Disabilities

A common issue for any studnet is “How do I pay for college?” Students with disabilities are no exception! Fortunately, there are financial resources available specifically for students with disabilities. Affordable Colleges Online has a listing of these resources. Click here to find out what’s out there! Scholarship categories for students with disabilities include Autism/Asperger’s syndrome, blindness, deaf and hard of hearing, learning disability, mental illness, spinal disability, cystic fibrosis, epilepsey, hemophilia/bleeding disorders, and hydrocephalus.

Don’t wait to apply! Most scholarships have deadlines and they are competitive, so act quickly! If you have more questions, please contact the scholarships directly. Your Disability Counselor may also be able to assist you with your questions. Good luck!


Student scholarship available for students who are Hard of Hearing or Deaf, Application due by May 1st!

Click here for details!

Sertoma is offering a $1000 scholarship to students who are Hard of Hearing or Deaf. The scholarship covers tuition, books, and supplies. Qualifications and application requirments are listed here.

Don’t wait to apply! Applications are due by May 1, 2014.

Sertoma’s mission is:

“To improve the quality of life today for those at risk or impacted by hearing loss through education and support.”


To learn more about Sertoma, please visit their website by clicking here.

Alice Carnes’ Letter to Students

Photograph of Alice Carnes receiving award.

Alice at her retirement party receiving an award for 22 years of service.

After 22 years of service at CPCC, Alice Carnes has retired from the College. She has left behind a legacy of dedication to the Disability Services department, CPCC, and the field of Disability Services. She will truly be missed by all who know and have worked with her. Below is Alice’s letter to students as her final farewell.

Dear Students,

     As many of you already know I have retired from CPCC. My last day at work was Friday, November 15th. I tried to make sure that none of you were “blindsided” by this news; but this is truly an im-possible task since I work with well over 115 registered students each semester. I wanted to say my goodbyes in this letter and especially to those of you who I didn’t get to say goodbye to in person.

     So now I get an opportunity to reminiscence about my CPCC career, the College and perhaps to leave you with a few words of inspiration. My entire 22 years at CPCC was spent counseling in Disa-bility Services.

     I came to CPCC in February 1992, when there was only one campus—Central campus. The tuition at that time was around $165.00 and CPCC was on the quarter system. The reason that I remember this so well is that I went to a community college in upstate NY. After I graduated from high school, I started my freshman year at Mohawk Valley Community College which was on the quarter system. The tuition that I paid at MVCC in 1969 was the same tuition at CPCC in 1992.

     Well, it’s been almost 22 years since I first stepped onto Central campus. I’ve wit-nessed so many changes. So here are a few:

  • The addition of 5 other campuses: Merancas, Levine, Harper, Harris & Cato.
  • The development of many new AAS pro-grams: Occupational Therapy, Cos-metology, Surgical Technology, Geospatial Technology, Non Destructive Examination Technology, Construction Management Technology, Sustainability Technologies, Turfgrass Management, Simulation and Game Design, etc. I’ve worked with students who took classes in all of these programs.
  • There has been a lot of construction on Central campus: the renovation of Sloan, Belk and now Citizens. I’ve watched Giles, the splendid Overcash building with the Halton Theater, the Levine IT, the Hall building, a couple of parking decks, and the culinary building rise out of the ground. And of course the new Van Every building which I’m hoping to tour someday soon, since I watched it go up outside of my office window.
  • Today there more resources and/or more comprehensive services for students through: the Family Resource Center, the Transfer Resource Center, Career Coach, the Career Fair, the Aca-demic Learning Center, Man Up, TRIO, Service Learning and Student Life, just to name a few.
  • There has been a vast improvement in CPCC’s technology with more on-line classes and on-line registration. Years ago during registration, the line of students snaked through the hallways of Central High (it was called Ga-ringer then) and around the side of the building and down Pease Lane. When Dr. Zeiss witnessed what was happening the College’s administration started serving lemonade to those students as they waited in the hot sun!

      I would like to share with you some of my best CPCC memories.

CPCC had a Day Care Center on Campus. The students who studied in the Early Childhood program would have an opportunity to intern there, teach a lesson or do their observations. Many people in the community, CPCC staff and faculty had their children attend the CPCC Day Care.

At that time, the pre-school children would parade around Central campus at Halloween in their costumes. At Christmas they sang carols on the quad during the tree lighting of the giant pine tree.

Jimmy’s restaurant was on Elizabeth Avenue. It was easy to call in a take-out order or run over there for a bite to eat. It was a famous hangout place for students and CPCC employ-ees. It was CPCC’s version of Cheers!

Before Sensoria there was the CPCC Literary Festival. I was introduced to many famous authors and poets at this event. Irene Honeycutt who coordinated the Festival had a knack for finding writers right before they became really famous. After they came to CPCC, they would soon be interviewing on the Oprah Show and/or hitting the NY Times Best Seller List.

Persephone’s Festival was a day long event of innovative workshops for Charlotte women with an opening celebration of dance, singing and excitement. I had a wonderful opportunity to dance on the Peace Auditorium stage for the opening celebration!

Over the years, I worked at all 6 campuses. I remember pulling out of my driveway in the morning; I’d have to stop and think “now what campus am I heading to today?”

I worked at the brand new Levine campus and I heard a CPCC employee scream. She jumped onto her chair because there was a field mouse in her file cabinet.

I would take step, weight training or yoga classes during my lunch hour. When I was a runner, I ran up Elizabeth Avenue and through the Elizabeth neighborhood.

I remember…

…eating lunch in the old Sloan building where the employee lounge had a bay of windows overlooking Elizabeth Ave. and several birch trees.

…seeing the red tailed hawk that occasionally flies through campus near the Terrell building.

…helping to create “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” (WAM) with a former student who coined the name of the event. WAM allows students to simulate a disability. The Physical Therapy Assistant, Human Services and Occupation Therapy programs collaborated with Disability Services and Student Life for a successful event that touches students’ lives in a meaningful way to create awareness about disabilities.

…presenting workshops over the years to dif-ferent CPCC programs, departments, classes, etc. telling them about Disability Services. In these talks I created awareness and taught CPCC employees and students about legislation that protects people with disabilities.

…attending and enjoying many CPCC theater productions, musical offerings, workshops, book signings, art exhibits etc.

…meeting and working with students who were focused and motivated.

…attending and cheering many students who worked with Disability Services as they walked the stage for graduation.

…working with so many compassionate and dedicated CPCC employees. All of these folks exemplify the old CPCC marketing tag line, “Changing lives one student at a time.”

…working in Disability Services with coun-selors and staff. These were the folks who became my “professional” family. We’ve been together for a long time and experi-enced: births, deaths, divorce, marriages, adoptions, illnesses, care taking older par-ents etc. We’ve supported and nurtured one another over the years. And for all of the kindness bestowed upon me; I am most appreciative. We’ve accomplished great things together and helped thousands of students with their academic goals. I will always proud of our efforts.

So, now it’s time for me to give some sage words of advice. I try to live in gratitude. I am grateful daily for all of life’s blessings. I believe that when people embrace the positive, that they will attract positive ener-gies in their lives.

As I close this chapter of my professional life I am grateful for the role I played at CPCC as a Counselor in Disability Services and I want to say, from the bottom of my heart,

thank you!

If Alice Carnes was your assigned Disability Counselor, please contact the Disability

Services office at 704-330-6621 for the Disability Counselor who will be assisting you.