Service Project: Memorial Park Playground Build

Through small and simple acts, great things can happen…including a personal transformation. Get involved today and experience the benefits of community service first-hand. CPCC’s Service-Learning Center initiates and supports curricular and co-curricular activities that enhance student learning, promote civic responsibility, and respond to the critical needs in our community through collaborative campus and community partnerships. As a student, you can get involved in the Rotaract Club or participate in community service projects through our Service-in-Action events. One upcoming event is a Memorial Park Playground build on Thursday, October 30, 2014 from 1pm to 5pm. For more information, please see below.

Recently, Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation and the Partners for Parks Foundation have been raising funds to build a playground in memory of the students and teachers lost at the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. This tragedy left 20 elementary school children and 6 adult staff members’ dead and an entire community in mourning. Memorial Playground is being built to let those who lost their lives remain in our hearts and serve as a celebration of each life lost. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Parks and Recreation and CPCC’s Service-Learning department are collaborating on this large scale service project.

The location of the Park Build is on Park Road in Charlotte, NC. Construction for the park will begin on Monday, October 27, 2014 and the park will be completed on Friday, October 31, 2014 at noon. There will be 2 volunteer shifts each day, 8am – noon and 1pm -5pm, which are being covered by multiple organizations, agencies, and volunteer groups. Parks and Recreation will need about 200 volunteers at for each shift. CPCC Service-Learning is scheduled to cover the Thursday, October 30th volunteer shift from 1pm to 5pm, with hopes to bring out 100 students, staff, and faculty volunteers for this event. There will be opportunities for both trained and untrained volunteers; all you need is a service-minded heart, energy, and are ready to help build this very special playground! If you are interested in volunteering, please click HERE to sign up. If you have any questions, please contact

Posted in Building Connections, Service | Tagged , , | Comments Off

September 11: Honor, Remember, and Reunite

Photo courtesy of

“May the lives remembered, the deeds recognized, and the spirit reawakened be eternal beacons, which reaffirm respect for life, strengthen our resolve to preserve freedom, and inspire an end to hatred, ignorance and intolerance.”

These words are part of the mission statement of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center in New York City. As the nation and world mark the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, CPCC Office of Student Life shares the sentiments of the 9/11 Memorial and calls upon readers to make September 11 a day of commemoration.

Take a moment to remember and honor the thousands of innocent men, women, and children lost in the horrific attacks of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001. Thank your local first responders for their dedication to protecting your community. Remember the many Americans who have served and are currently serving in our nation’s military—many of whom enlisted as a response to the 9/11 attacks.

Let us come together this 9/11 to honor, remember and reunite. Visit the Student Life Events Calendar for more information about the following campus activities commemorating 9/11 and celebrating Constitution Day.

9/11 Remembrance Wall
September 8 – 12th
Harper Campus, Outside Room 304
Please pick up a ribbon and post a message on the Remembrance Wall in honor of those we lost or were injured in the attacks, and to remember the heroic actions of all the people who responded selflessly and courageously.

9/11: We Remember
Thursday, September 9th
Merancas Campus, 8:45 – 9:45 am
Meet at the flagpole at 8:45 am for a moment of silence to remember the victims of 9/11. In partnership with the Student Veteran’s Association at Merancas, we will pass out remembrance ribbons. Free doughnuts and coffee for attendees.

“Constitution USA: It’s a Free Country”
Tuesday, September 16th
Central Campus, Screening times: 9:30, 11:00, and 12:30
Please join us for our annual Constitution Day celebration as we show the PBS documentary: Constitution USA with Peter Sagal, “It’s a Free Country.” Ask Americans what the Constitution’s most important feature is and most will say it’s the guarantee of liberty enshrined in the Bill of Rights. In this episode, Sagal explores the history of the Bill of Rights and addresses several stories — ripped from the headlines — involving freedom of speech, freedom of religion and right to privacy.


Posted in Building Connections, Service | Tagged , | Comments Off

Explore. Equip. Evolve.

One of the great things about college is the opportunity to get involved on campus. College is about making new friends, understanding different perspectives, and experiencing new things. Students should make the most of their college experience and maximize what is learned in the classroom by becoming engaged outside the classroom.

To get started, visit the EXPLORE site for a list of student organizations offered at CPCC, ranging from academic-focused to special interests. With more than 40 recognized clubs, the options are endless for getting involved. Don’t see anything that interests you? Then make sure to read our Explore Handbook to learn how you can establish a new student organization on campus.

If you are already a member of a student organization, make sure you visit the EQUIP site to get more information about club guidelines (including the most up-to-date handbook) and to access all forms related to club activities. If you have questions about completing forms, please see the Student Life Coordinator at your campus.

Current student leaders who are interested in developing their club members and growing their student organization can visit the EVOLVE site for resources and tools, including leadership tips and a list of icebreakers that you can use to re-energize a meeting or event.

Posted in Building Connections, Leadership | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Connect with CPCC Support Services

Establishing, developing, and maintaining relationships are important to a student’s success at college. Get to know as many people as possible, especially classmates and professors, by engaging in conversations with others and regularly participating in events on campus. Students should be proactive in building a network of key individuals – family, friends, and CPCC staff – who can help them personally or professionally. The path to success at CPCC begins with getting connected!

Student Resources Day (SRD) is the perfect opportunity to meet staff, learn about valuable services and resources on your campus (including your student rights and responsibilities), enjoy free food and giveaways, and make new friends. Take the initiative to connect with staff as soon as possible to create a foundation of support at CPCC. Representatives from Student Life, Career Services, Financial Aid, Service Learning, Family Resource Center, Academic Advising and more will be present to talk about their services and answer your questions. Remember to make the effort to stay connected with these services throughout the year (day in and day out) so that you maintain the level of support you need to be successful at CPCC!

Upcoming SRD Events:

Wednesday, September 3: Harper Campus, 11 am – 1 pm
Thursday, September 4: Levine Campus, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Wednesday, September 10: Cato Campus, 10 am – 12 pm
Wednesday, September 10: Central Campus, 10 am – 1 pm

Tuesday, September 16: Merancas Campus, 10 am – 12 pm

*For more detailed information (including location), please check the Student Life Events Calendar or speak with the Student Life Coordinator on your campus.

Posted in Building Connections | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

10 Tips to a Great Start at CPCC

The start of a new school year is always exciting; from meeting new people, beginning new experiences, maybe a few new clothes, backpacks, pens and paper. But, it can also come with great anxiety and stress. For some of you, maybe this is the first time in a (long) while that you’ve been in school. For some, you’ve just finished high school and are now beginning your journey as a college student. Some of you have left your home in another country, and are beginning your studies in a very new place, perhaps with an environment that is very different from what you’re accustomed to. And some of you might be the first in your family to pursue a college education. Whatever your reasons for being a new student at CPCC, all of us (staff, faculty and yes, your fellow students!) want to offer you our congratulations and support! It’s going to be great.

Every new (and not so new) student needs a few words of wisdom for their first week. We promise that if you carry these 10 easy tips with you, you’ll be off to a great start. It’ll be graduation before you know it.

1.      Go to class.

This might seem obvious, but it’s really important. College is like running a marathon, and every class is a mile-marker. You can’t do all the things you need to do as a successful student if you’re not in class and plugged into what’s happening. College classes often have fewer assignments and tests, and the material can be more complex. Being in class is important, not only because your teacher will have an attendance policy, but because if you’re not there you’re limiting your own success.

2.      Get to know your teachers.

Guess what? Community college teachers really like students. For many of them, that’s why they choose to teach here, versus other colleges and universities. I promise you – if you go up to your teacher before class starts, offer them a handshake, a smile, and your name – you’ll be off to a great start. It’s likely that your teacher teaches at least one other class (or as many as five others), so if you can offer up a nice first-impression that can carry you a long way. Letting your teachers know that you’re going to be committed to their class is often an investment in their commitment to you.

3.      Ask for help.

No one likes to admit that they’re not good at something, or that they don’t understand something, or that they aren’t sure they can make it through the end of the semester. However, it happens to every single one of us. Every student that there ever was – at some point in their educational journey – had a tough time in a class or in life outside of school. As tough as it might be, asking for help can come with great relief. But don’t wait until the stress is too much. Ask early on. Before you find yourself inundated with confusion. Before the next exam or assignment is due. Who can you ask? Lots of people. Your teacher. A counselor at the college. The Academic Learning Center. A classmate. A lab instructor. You’ve got lots of options. Use them!

4.      Get to know someone in every class.

You’re going to be sitting next to the same people, every week, for as many as 16 weeks. Some of these people are definitely worth knowing. Why? Maybe you missed a class and need lecture notes. Maybe you aren’t sure of when the next assignment is due. Maybe they made a great score on the last quiz, and you didn’t do so well. Maybe they know a great study spot on campus. College is a great opportunity for you to make new connections and practice networking skills that will be important in your future life after college. Start practicing now!

5.      Get to know your campus.

Some of you will be at a really big campus, with multiple buildings and entrances. Some of you might be at smaller campuses with one way in and out. Either way, every campus has resources and services that will help you be a successful student. Knowing locations of places like the library, counseling and advising, financial aid, the bookstore, vending machines, student activities, security, and computer labs will be helpful for you as you make your way through the semester.

6.      Do more than just go to class.

It might seem like your life is just too busy to fit one more thing in. It might also seem like some things just “aren’t for you.” I’m going to challenge you to consider that the previous two statements are wrong. Think about joining a student organization. Consider attending a special event on campus, like a festival, a special speaker, a service project, or an arts event. Some people think that you can’t have a “real” college experience at a community college, but really, those people don’t know what they’re talking about. There are plenty of opportunities for you to meet other students, gain leadership experience, have fun, and connect with others at the college and in the community. (Oh, and one added benefit? Participating in these things often results in academic success as well.)

7.      Plan ahead.

So, assuming you’re taking me up on these helpful tips, you’re going to be a busy student! Managing classes, assignments, exams, study groups, student events, and your life outside of school is going to be a challenge. If you think it won’t be, you’re wrong. But, you can start planning now. Arrange for your children to be cared for while you’re in class. Begin looking ahead to the next semester. What might you need to take next? When is it time to think about an internship? When can you register for the next semester? When should you begin applying to transfer or for graduation?

8.      Get a calendar. Use it.

So while you’re planning ahead, you need a way to organize these plans! Whether you’re someone who loves using your iPhone calendar app or a regular paper planner, find the method that works best for you. Gather all your syllabi for the entire semester, and jot down assignments, tests, and other important deadlines. (And don’t forget breaks and days off! Those are great to look forward to!) Practicing good time management skills helps you plan and set aside study time and can help you come in to class prepared. These are great skills to take with you into the workforce!

9.      Get to know your advisor.

One important relationship is with your academic, transfer and/or faculty advisor. These individuals can help you talk about your future plans here at CPCC, but can also help you look forward to the next semester, the next college, or your future career plans. They’re also really connected on campus, and can help recommend you to other helpful resources like Career Services, the Academic Learning Center, or other good places.

10.   Have fun.

Overwhelmed yet? Doing something you like to do can also be an important part of being a successful student. Going to college is stressful. And busy. Time consuming. Sleep depriving, even. Make time to do something you enjoy – spending time with family or friends, exercising, going to the movies, cooking, reading, listening to music. Whatever you enjoy, make time to take a break from the books, connect with others, and relax. School/Life balance is a tricky thing, and lots of college students get caught in one or the other. Do your best to enjoy a healthy moderation of both. You deserve it.

Blog Contributor:
Amanda Capobianchi
Associate Dean of Student Life

Posted in Building Connections | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Student Leader Shares Impact of Service-Learning

College is about about discovering who you are and what you are passionate about, making new friends, understanding different perspectives, and experiencing new things. It’s also about maximizing your opportunities and learning to give back. Laura Alonso Restrepo, a CPCC student leader and 2014 graduate, is a testament to the importance of getting involved on campus and the positive impact it can have on your life. She shares her story below:

Laura at the Service-Learning Ceremony

This past school year here at Central Piedmont Community College I have found a home and a supportive enriching environment in Service-Learning. I had the opportunity to rediscover the blessing behind giving back and lending a hand to those in need. This past year I have built relationships with several wonderful ladies who bring to light that helping hand in all of us. Through Service-Learning, just this past school year, I have been able to volunteer here in our community with several all day events such as the annual MLK challenge and American Heart Association 5k run. I have also had the opportunity to do Service-Learning through CPCC in Washington D.C with my Phi Theta Kappa international honor society officers at the 2013 Run to Remember.

Now I have the honor in being the first Central Piedmont Community College student to do international Service-Learning through the Global Learning program. In less than a week I will be on my way to Chimbote, Peru with Krystal Crowe, a Program Coordinator for Student Life, and several other students and faculty from two other community colleges from the states. Service abroad has been a dream of mine for several years and now, thanks to CPCC and the Service-Learning department, I will have the opportunity to reach out and give back to the children of Peru for two weeks after my graduation. We will be doing service with Friends of Chimbote, which supports four primary areas of competency: education, healthcare, social programs, and transformation. Some of the service projects we will be doing include building a house for a family, working in the soup kitchen and day care center, and helping in the center for women and family assistance.

Service-Learning has helped me become a stronger student and an even better community member. As a Charlotte Mecklenburg resident, Service-Learning has raised my awareness of the existence and work of organizations that provide a lending hand to people in need. It has also helped me strengthen my skills, especially my education. I have become more responsible and focused on organization and result seeking.

I could not ask for a better way to end my educational experience here at Central Piedmont Community College. Thanks to the department of Service-Learning and its beautiful minded staff I will have a life changing opportunity in the next few days. This is just the beginning of my life time service to my community here or where ever my life takes me.

Thank you.

Posted in Building Connections, Leadership, Service | Tagged , | Comments Off

SGA Announces the 2014-2015 Executive Committee

As another academic year is coming to a close at CPCC – with students preparing for final exams and making plans for the summer – there is one group of individuals who are ending their year with a strong sense of accomplishment and an eagerness to return in the fall. The following students are the newly elected SGA Executive Committee officers and they look forward to not only serving their campus community, but making a difference on campus.

President: Abed Arian

“My name is Abed Arian, and I am originally from Afghanistan. I am a full-time student at Central Piedmont Community College in the Associate in Arts program as a first step to ultimately earning a Master’s degree in Political Science and International Business. In the course of the three semesters I have been at CPCC, I have taken frequent opportunities to become involved on campus. I started as a representative for SGA in my first semester, and was elected to be a senator in my second semester. Throughout the year, I actively volunteered in events like Fall Fest, MLK Challenge, and SGA promotion tables. I’m also with the Peer Mentoring Program as a mentor for the first year students. As someone from a different country, I have had to learn how to ask proper questions, how to listen to different viewpoints, and how to work with different people. I offer these skills to the Student Government Association, at the same time, allowing me to further grow in my mission to promote leadership, encourage responsibility, and represent the interests of the students of this institution.”

Vice President: Antoine Lopez

“I have seen faith and ambition in the eyes of CPCC students, and as the Vice President for the student government, I will dedicate my time and effort to fulfill their aspirations of excellence. My name is Antoine Lopez, a student at Central Campus in the Associate in Arts program and will be going to UNC Charlotte for degrees in Political Science and Communication. The student government has a special meaning for me. Community within the community, each member is cheerful and full of promises, and they as a whole have given me strength and trust through my initial experience. Being the Vice President will be an honor and the occasion for me to give CPCC the favor back. I will strengthen the links of the SGA toward other CPCC entities, I will put under the spotlight the effort of the one who worked hard for success, I will value their efforts and their cause and dedicate our student government to our great focus, student’s success. I will give the second “C” of CPCC a new life and gather everybody under the same flag. Community is only the beginning, success is our goal.”

Treasurer: Moza Hamud

“My name is Moza Hamud and I am currently enrolled at CPCC as a transfer student with my short term goal of obtaining my associate in science degree with academic honors and to apply what I learn in class throughout my career. I plan to transfer and complete my pre-med degree in biochemistry then apply to a medical school to complete my doctor of medicine degree and I would love to specialize in oncology. I was the CEO of Green Enterprise Rolls (a junior achievement company program) and led a debate team to victory in 2012. I am currently a representative for the SGA at Levine Campus. I really enjoy working for the SGA, and I feel like it would be such an honor to be part of the executive committee and give life to the students as that is exactly what SGA does. It actually makes college life so much fun!”

Public Information Officer: John Hamilton

“My name is John Hamilton and I’m from Hampton, Virginia. I moved here a couple of years ago to spend more time with my family and soon after that I fell in love with Charlotte. I applied for the public informational officer position, to help my school broaden, not only my knowledge, but also the students that attend CPCC about the many services that CPCC has to offer and programs they can attend. I’ve been with the SGA before in my first semester and have met many of the officers and have enjoyed the different events that have taken part because of the SGA. I’m also active in other activities in school such as the Man-Up program and as a volunteer at the CMC hospital. I look forward to helping my fellow students broaden their knowledge about new events, school information as well as community information and help by giving good and creative ideas for SGA.”

The CPCC Student Government Association (SGA) is an organization run by students to represent fellow students, while also supporting the mission of the College and the Office of Student Life. The purpose of the SGA is to:

  • Advocate for the student body by conveying the opinions, ideas, wishes, and needs of the students to the administration, faculty, and staff.
  • Enhance student life on campus through social, cultural, and educational activities.
  • Provide support to student organizations.

To learn more about how you can get involved in SGA, please click HERE.

Posted in Leadership | Tagged , | Comments Off

SGA Elections Begin

Today marks the beginning of elections for CPCC’s Student Government Association (SGA), so we encourage all students to learn more about SGA and to cast their vote for the new Executive Committee. Visit the Student Life website to vote online!

2014-2015 Candidates for Office include:

  • President: Abed Arian
  • Vice President: Mariam Belagam; Tzadde Daley; Antoine Lopez
  • Public Information Officer: John Hamilton
  • Treasurer: Moza Hamud
  • Secretary: vacant

To learn more about the candidates and what they hope to accomplish in their new role, please click HERE. Remember… your vote is your voice, so be heard! Elections end on April 27, 2014.

The SGA is an organization run by students to represent fellow students, while also supporting the mission of the College and the Office of Student Life. The purpose of the SGA is to:

  • Advocate for the student body by conveying the opinions, ideas, wishes, and needs of the students to the administration, faculty, and staff.
  • Enhance student life on campus through social, cultural, and educational activities.
  • Provide support to student organizations.
Posted in Leadership | Tagged , | Comments Off

Student Reflection: Alternative Spring Break

Alternative Spring Break (ASB) is a low-cost service trip that provides students with an opportunity to participate in meaningful service activities, learn more about community issues, and have fun. In the past, students have traveled to Charleston, Atlanta, Wilmington, and Sumter, SC. For 2014, students traveled to Savannah, GA. The following reflection was submitted by Stella Foster.

Alternative Spring Break was an amazing way to not only help people through volunteering, but also to make new friends. Each and every day I found myself inspired by a touching story. One of the stories involved a man who was one of the leaders in a program at the Savannah City Mission. This program helps men who recently got out of jail or are on probation to be the best that they can be. Some of the duties included helping those in the program to successfully get a career or to help them with finances. He told us that he knew that this works because he was once in the program. When he finished, he found it his duty to help others. This was truly inspiring to hear and helped me to realize that everyone has a story to share and their story can easily inspire others.

While on this trip, we worked with five different organizations – The Savannah City Mission, Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, The Ronald McDonald House, the YMCA, and the Ruth Byck Adult Day Care Center. Along the way we met a lot of inspiring individuals. I remember being at the YMCA and meeting a young girl. She was incredibly smart, wonderfully creative, and had a refreshing spirit. All of the young kids at the YMCA were so nice and they absolutely loved us. We were able to do crafts with them and they ended up teaching me so much. They showed me the beauty of an open mind and politeness.

All in all, I would definitely recommend going on an Alternative Spring Break. This trip was a wonderful balance of service and culture. We were able to explore Savannah and all it has to offer during the afternoon but we were also serving throughout the morning and early afternoon hours. You will have an experience like no other and will meet other students in your school who have a similar desire to serve.

To learn more about CPCC Alternative Spring Break and other community service opportunities, please visit the Service Learning website.

Posted in Leadership, Service | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Spring Festivals & Celebration

Photo courtesy of

While students and faculty are starting to prepare for finals and the end of the semester, the Office of Student Life is gearing up for our annual celebrations of festivals, honor society inductions, and award ceremonies. As we reflect on an entire academic year dedicated to programming and student leadership, we ask that you join us in celebrating our students and building community on campus. All students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend our upcoming spring festivals where there will be entertainment, food, games, and more.

  • Tuesday, April 8: Harris Campus at 11 am
  • Tuesday, April 15: Harper Campus at 11 am
  • Wednesday, April 23: Central Campus at 10 am & Cato Campus at 10:30 am

For detailed event information, please check the Student Life Events Calendar.

Posted in Building Connections | Tagged , | Comments Off