Howard Levine Foundation grant establishes scholarship to help upward mobility

last modified Oct 31, 2016 03:48 PM

A generous grant from the Howard R. Levine Foundation to create the Howard and Julie Levine Opportunity Scholars Program at Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) will enable some of Charlotte’s most in-need high school students to acquire the education and skills needed to embark on meaningful careers. The foundation’s support is the lead gift to CPCC’s Opportunity Scholarship Initiative, which will expand the amount of financial assistance available to at-risk, low-income, minority students to secure family-sustaining employment.

“We are grateful to Howard Levine for his compassion and vision. His desire to invest in young people in-need will transform lives and build a stronger, more inclusive community,” said Dr. Tony Zeiss, CPCC president. “Howard believes education offers the best path to economic well-being and the promise of a better life; I couldn’t agree more.

“Education beyond high school fosters greater economic mobility and helps lift individuals and families out of poverty. Through the Opportunity Scholars Initiative, the college will engage other like-minded donors to add to the scholarship opportunities created by the Howard R. Levine Foundation,” Zeiss said.

Beginning in 2017, the Howard and Julie Levine Opportunity Scholars Program will extend educational and career-training opportunities to low-income, minority students at five Mecklenburg County high schools—Garinger, Harding, Vance, West Charlotte, and West Mecklenburg. These schools have the highest percentage of students living in poverty and lowest college matriculation rates. Selected students will receive the financial resources and support services needed to attend CPCC and earn a two-year, job-focused degree, which will lead to meaningful, family-supporting careers. High school and CPCC staff working in collaboration will select the scholarship recipients based on the students’ demonstrated potential for success on the college level.

The program details include:

  • Scholarships will cover the complete cost of attendance – tuition, books and fees – for the two years required to earn a technical, career-focused degree. Students also will receive notebook computers to help meet their digital needs.
  • Students will participate in CPCC’s Summer Bridge academic enrichment program prior to their first fall semester to help prepare them for college-level work.
  • The students also will receive the support of an academic counselor/career coach to help with course and career path selection, secure internships and other workplace learning opportunities, and assist with job placement.

“The Howard and Julie Levine Opportunity Scholars Program and other forthcoming support for the Opportunity Scholarship Initiative will provide a structured pathway for deserving, low-income minority students to earn a technical, job-focused degree in two years and begin well-paying employment,” Zeiss explained. “Thanks to the great generosity of the Howard R. Levine Foundation, this initiative will provide hope and opportunity for young people currently living in poverty and offer a means to greater economic mobility.”

The Howard R. Levine Foundation grant will support 45 students. CPCC encourages others in the community to contribute to the initiative to increase the number of scholarships and the number of families impacted.

"This scholarship initiative addresses our community’s economic mobility challenges directly by providing young people an opportunity to gain a high-demand skill and establish a good career. The college welcomes the opportunity to talk with others about supporting this initiative,” Zeiss added.

For information about supporting the Opportunity Scholarship Initiative at Central Piedmont Community College, contact the CPCC Foundation at 704-330-6869.