CPCC student named 2013 Coca-Cola New Century Scholar

last modified Mar 27, 2013 07:52 AM
CPCC student named 2013 Coca-Cola New Century Scholar

Riyam Al Ghrary

Miss Riyam Al Ghrary, of Charlotte, N.C., and a student at Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), has been named a 2013 Coca-Cola New Century Scholar. The program, sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) and the American Association of Community Colleges, honors outstanding community college students for their academic excellence and outstanding achievements outside the classroom.

More than 1,800 students were nominated from more than 800 community colleges across the United States, Canada and the Federated States of Micronesia for recognition. A panel of judges made their selections for this year’s class of Coca-Cola New Century Scholars based on each applicant’s grades, leadership, activities and how they extended their intellectual talents beyond the classroom.

Fifty community college students were chosen to be a Coca-Cola New Century Scholar; Al Ghrary was selected as the highest scoring student in North Carolina. As a result, CPCC will be recognized at the American Association of Community Colleges Convention and Al Ghrary will receive a $2,000 scholarship.

“Riyam draws from her love of learning and her innate intelligence to succeed,” said Amanda Capobianchi, associate dean of Student Life at CPCC. “She is among our most active students on campus and is an excellent student who sets very high standards for herself. Her self-discipline is unmatched and I am extremely confident in her success for the future.”

In addition to being a member of CPCC’s PTK Chapter, Al Ghrary is vice president of the Student Government Association; has completed the College’s Student Leadership Academy; is an active participant in a number of CPCC service-learning projects; and is a dedicated tutor, helping fellow students in math.

“Upon arriving to the United States from Iraq in 2007, I knew I would have to study three times harder than my American peers to meet their academic level, so I did,” said Al Ghrary. “It’s this work ethic that has led me down an educational path that is both intellectually stimulating and personally rewarding, allowing me to create a positive difference in my new country.

Al Ghrary left behind a difficult life in Iraq. There, she lived amidst war and the struggles of a turbulent country. She did homework by flashlight, saw relatives killed, was kidnapped and shot at by Iraq gangs, and more. Today, her future appears bright; she’s excelling in her studies at CPCC and plans to attend UNC-Chapel Hill to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology.

To see the complete list of 2013 New Century Scholars, please visit http://www.ptk.org/become-a-member/scholarships/new-century-scholars.