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

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.


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.

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.

Student Club of the Month

Each month we will be highlighting a student club or organization at CPCC that has gone above and beyond in service, fundraising, programming, and overall excellence.

March Club of the Month: Cytotechnology Student Association

The Cytotechnology Student Association (CSA) is comprised of Cytotechnology students, practicing Cytotechnologists, and Pathologists. The CSA strives to educate the community on health issues related to the field of cytology as well as promote the profession of Cytotechnology at the local, state, and national levels.

The Cytotechnology Student Association has once again stepped up in a leadership role with advocating for the upcoming Project Life Bone Marrow Drive. Project Life is a non-profit organization that works directly with college campuses to help add more college students, faculty, and staff to the National Bone Marrow Registry. On February 19th, CSA members and other Health Science students, performed a flash mob in brightly colored shirts that say “Get Swabbed” to go along with the theme for this year’s drive, “Be a Life Saver.”

If you are interested in learning more about Project Life and how you can save someone’s life, please visit the Student Life website or stop by an upcoming bone marrow donor drive at one of the following CPCC campuses.

March 5, 2014
Harper Campus
Location: Classroom 352-D
Time: 11:30am-2:30pm

April 9, 2014
Central Campus
Location: Belk Patio (By Belk and Elizabeth Building)
Time: 9am-3pm

April 22, 2014
Harris Campus
Location: Harris Building I Atrium
Time: 11am-2pm

Get Involved in Student Life

If you are interested in joining the Cytotechnology Student Association, or if you would like to help with upcoming events, please contact Kim Kaylor. If you would like to get involved in another student organization, please visit our EXPLORE page to learn about the 40+ student organizations at CPCC. You can also visit a Student Life office at any campus to learn more about leadership opportunities.