COA Foundation scholars honored at luncheon
By Reggie Ponder
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
The College of The Albemarle Foundation celebrated $347,000 in scholarships to 214 students in 2018-1019 during the annual scholarship luncheon Sunday afternoon at the Carolina Corporate Center in Elizabeth City.
Among the scholarship recipients is Michael Williams, 32, who graduated from high school in Hampton, Va., and moved to Elizabeth City about six years ago. He said he had always wanted to go to college and this finally seemed like the right time.
He works a part-time job and said the gap scholarship he received this year through the COA Foundation has enabled him to afford to go to school.
“It helps me out a lot,” Williams said of the scholarship.
Williams is in his second semester at COA, where he serves on the executive board of the Student Government Association and majors in fine arts.
He would like to be a high school art teacher and practicing artist. After graduating from COA he plans to enroll at Elizabeth City State University.
Eva Wilson, 27, is a student ambassador at COA and receives the student ambassador scholarship.
Wilson works at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center as a care partner and learned about the student ambassador program from a co-worker who had attended COA.
Wilson went online to find out more about being a student ambassador and decided it would be a good fit for her outgoing personality.
The application was online and called for her to write a paragraph in which she described herself and provided an idea of why she was interested in being a student ambassador.
The next step was an in-person interview with a selection panel. She said the interview focused on why being a student ambassador appealed to her.
Wilson said she was amazed at how welcome the COA staff and faculty made her feel when she began taking classes there in the spring of 2017.
“I wanted to make students feel as welcome as I did when I first started there,” Wilson said.
COA truly cares about students, she said.
Wilson explained that she and her husband moved from Virginia to North Carolina in 2016 and after living in the state for a year, and she could pay in-state tuition rates, she began taking general education courses at COA in the spring of 2017.
She trained to be a certified nursing assistant in 2017 and started her job at Chesapeake Regional that summer.
“It really opened the door for me to start working in the medical field immediately,” Wilson said.
Wilson said she has been accepted into COA’s associate degree nursing program. She is slated to start that program in the fall and expects to graduate in the spring of 2021.
“I have always wanted to be in the medical field,” she said.
A graduate of Western Branch High School in Chesapeake who now lives in Moyock, Wilson has found the student ambassador scholarship to be a big help, because it keeps from having to work extra hours in order to cover her school-related expenses.
“The scholarship covers everything for this entire school year,” Wilson said. “It has been phenomenal.”
She said the events that she works as a student ambassador are actually fun.
“It’s enjoyable and they are paying for my school, so it’s awesome,” Wilson said.