WINTERVILLE—The N.C. Community College System has honored Pitt Community College student Callie Kirby for academic success and service to the college and community.
Kirby, a PCC Student Ambassador from Greenville, was recently named the college’s recipient of the N.C. Academic Excellence Award. The recognition is presented to a student at each of North Carolina’s 58 community colleges each spring.
“(Receiving) this award is truly humbling,” Kirby said. “I have tried to persevere throughout this pandemic and do what I can to succeed. Being recognized for my hard work and determination is truly a blessing.”
Following a successful academic career at Ayden-Grifton High School, Kirby enrolled in Pitt’s University Transfer program. She was already familiar with PCC through the Career and College Promise Program, which gives high school students a chance to earn college credit before receiving their diplomas.
“I chose Pitt Community College, because I had been in the dual enrollment program for the past two years and loved the school, teachers, classes and positivity that I received and witnessed on campus,” Kirby said.
As an ambassador during the 2020-21 academic year, Kirby took advantage of opportunities for community service participation, even though many traditional college activities were never held due to the pandemic.
“Throughout high school and college, I have helped give back to the community by doing trash cleanups around parks, taking kids less fortunate on Christmas shopping trips to buy clothes and toys, and participating in volunteer work at the Pitt County Fairgrounds,” she said. “Community service is important to me, because it’s an opportunity to give back and help those who have done nothing but support and give to me over the years.”
Kirby says ambassador participation also gave her leadership development opportunities. She said she enjoyed raising money for charity through the group’s annual service project and building rapport with college administrators and members of the community.
PCC Scholarships Coordinator Kim Simpkins, who serves as an ambassadors advisor, says Kirby was elected secretary of the 2020-21 group but was “easily their unofficial leader” as well.
“The other ambassadors looked to her for guidance and often took their cues from her during ambassador activities,” Simpkins said. “Callie handled this role with grace and humility, always with a smile on her face and a genuine desire to help others.”
In addition to her contributions as an ambassador, Kirby posted a 3.9 GPA and earned a PCC Academic Excellence Award, in addition to her N.C. Community College System honor. She was also invited to join Pitt’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society chapter and selected to return to the ambassadors program a second year.
Kirby says she plans to transfer to East Carolina University after receiving an associate degree from PCC in 2022. She is hoping to join the Honors College at ECU as she pursues a bachelor’s degree in Health Care Administration and master’s in Business Administration.