Friday, August 31, 2012

UNC Charlotte business student receives scholarship

UNC Charlotte business student Gregory Grattan is one of five students in North Carolina to be honored this year by the state pest association.

Grattan, a sophomore at UNC Charlotte and graduate of East Mecklenburg High, received a $3,000 scholarship from the North Carolina Pest Management Association to continue his education.

The scholarships are designed for students enrolling or currently enrolled in post-high-school programs. Since its creation in 2004, the education foundation of the NCPMA has awarded scholarships worth more than $72,500 to students across North Carolina.

Grattan has worked for his family’s pest management business, Grattan Pest Solutions, for three years and plans to continue his work with the company in the future.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Students will need to adapt to new schedules during DNC

If you're like most people, including myself, you have no idea how you’re going to get around Charlotte during the Democratic National Convention.

What businesses will be closed, what’s the best way to get to work, which roads will be blocked at what time of day - it’s all subject to change. We’re just going to have to be flexible.

But for those looking for changes in the operation schedule for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools during the convention, here you go.

The convention, which will be held Sept. 4 -7, is expected to bring thousands to the city, so Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is making adjustments to ensure a productive second week of school.

Changes include:

Metro School will have an early dismissal at noon on Sept. 6.

Irwin Academic Center students will be dismissed at 12:45 p.m. on Sept. 6.

First Ward Elementary will have three days of early dismissal.

Students will dismiss at 12:45 p.m. Sept. 4 - 6. All schools will return to normal schedules on Sept. 7.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Buses, books, bells and backpacks are just around the corner

Have back-to-school questions for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools? Here's the information to address all of your concerns.

For questions about bell schedules, district contact numbers, before-and after-school care, and open house, parents can call 980-343-3628.

The hotline will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.on Aug. 24; 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Aug. 27- Sept. 7; and 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Sept. 10-14. The hotline will be closed on Labor Day, Sept. 3.

For questions about enrollment and school assignments, call the placement office at 980-343-5335.

Questions about bus stop assignments can be addressed by calling the transportation office at 980-343-6715.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

South Pointe High senior aspires to teach

Every summer for the past three years, Kristin Rivera has participated in the General Hugh Shelton Leadership Challenge at N.C. State.

The six-day summer challenge is based on honesty, integrity, compassion for your fellow man, respect for diversity, and social responsibility. It aims to help students gain leadership skills through team-building activities and service projects.

The Shelton Leadership Challenge was founded by General Hugh Shelton who served as the 14th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1997-2001. 

Kristin, a senior at South Pointe High School, was selected this year to serve on staff as a Coach/Mentor/Trainer (CMT), the highest student leadership position.

Some of her responsibilities included attending training sessions, providing feedback to youth, facilitating teen reflections and attending daily staff meetings.

Kristin is a member of South Pointe High's student council, tennis team, National Honor Society, and the Bible Club, among others.

Kristin is involved with the N.C. Teacher Cadet program and hopes to become an elementary school teacher.

For more information about the challenge, visit

Friday, August 17, 2012

Tale of 'A City Girl' through poetry

Earlier in the week, readers got a sneak peak into a personal memoir from Gaston Day School's award-winning literary arts magazine, "Blutopia."

Today, here's a sample of poetry from the publication:

A City Girl
By, Jessica Mandell

City girls don't walk in the woods
Unless we find ourselves lost
Irrevocably and literally
And if we are, we are caught surprised
Momentarily leaving a luncheon
Strolling innocently in a new coat
A wrong turn, another
Ending up under leaves
Covering the sky.
We city girls
We metropolitan women
Crane our necks to see tree tops
That aren't anywhere near scraping the sky
But those trees seem inexplicably massive
Colossal, unreal, unbelievable.
And before we know it
We're standing in the middle
Of a circle of trees
A perfect circle
Like a swirling design on Baroque china.
In all our confusion
We give ourselves to the forest
If only for a moment.
But that moment is long enough
To notice just how perfect
Random is
Our cities are never random.
No human arranged these trees
They plopped themselves there
Without asking for permission
Or an audience or applause.
No architect planned
Nor could any plan
Such beauty.
With all our wit
We won't see the party
Just a mile or so away
Not far at all
From a quietly thriving masterpiece
But unnoticed just the same.
We city girls have level heads
But we got lost
In a nearby wood
Or maybe we were lost before.
I will never again feel as loved as I did
When I stood amongst giants
Whose life rushed in.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Find out what's inside 'Blutopia'

On Tuesday, Young Achievers introduced readers to the teen creators of "Blutopia," the literary arts magazine at Gaston Day School.

Here is a taste of what's inside the 2012 award-winning publication:

"How It Feels to Be Colored Jane"
By Jane Voss

Voluptuous, robust, plum fruits and pomegranates burst open and spill out over the pages. Charismatic letters stab one another and the blood red spurts through my mind, woven into his every word. A drama within seeps out onto the story, which can no longer restrain itself, and Vladimir Nabokov's thoughts are stained a deep, emphatic crimson.

How could anyone hate reading? Before I could even understand writing, I could see what I read and feel it deep within my soul. Unimaginable to me is the average person's black and white reading experience, for like Nabokov, I am a synesthete. Without even taking meaning into consideration, words come alive to me through their colors and personalities, auras if you will...

Friday, August 10, 2012

South Mecklenburg High sophomore wins poetry contest

Ninth grade students at South Mecklenburg High School were invited by Altrusa International, Inc., a community service organization, to write a poem about the feelings of a child whose parent(s) are deployed in the military. Of the 50 teens who entered the contest, rising sophomore Max Snyder was chosen as the winner. Max will be honored for his achievements on Sept. 13.

His poem:
As I Stay Home
By, Max Snyder

As I stay home
You'd think I feel alone
I don't
I won't

I will not cry
You ask why
Well because
It's what my Daddy does

He is gone
But I do not feel alone
I don't
I won't

He's very brave
He has lives to save
I am so proud
And love him LOUD

He'll be home soon
I'll greet him with a balloon
I will
I can

He's my hero
As I wait at the window
With a smile
Big as a mile

Daddy there's no hurry
I don't worry
I am OK
I will be OK.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Student sets aside ADHD to succeed

Shire, a global specialty biopharmaceutical company, recently awarded Meredith Morrow, a graduate of Ardrey Kell High, with the 2012 ADHD Scholarship.

Fifty individuals diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) going on to higher education were selected from 1,437 applicants across the United States.

Morrow was selected based on her community service and extracurricular activities, as well as a personal essay explaining how ADHD has impacted her life.

In her essay, she explained the challenges she faces and how she is managing her ADHD. The Scholarship includes $2,000 and a prepaid year of ADHD coaching services. The Edge Foundation provides the ADHD coaching services.

The ADHD coaching services are intended to assist the recipients with their pursuit of higher education. Services are weekly sessions with specially-trained ADHD coaches. The students set weekly goals and action plans and also have e-mail and phone support from their coaches.

For more information about the scholarship, visit

Friday, August 3, 2012

Statesville native walks halls of Congress

Jannidy Gonzalez of Statesville, a student at Western Carolina University, is working alongside 38 other university students from across the U.S. this summer during a Congressional Internship Program. 

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), the nation’s Hispanic youth leadership development and educational organization, is hosting Jannidy during the experience.

The CHCI interns have been assigned to congressional offices on Capitol Hill for eight weeks to learn about the nation’s legislative process and issues pending before the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Jannidy is currently placed with the Office of Representative Henry Cuellar.

“My major is business administration and law and working on Capitol Hill will allow me to apply what I learn to enhance my studies, further develop myself and improve the lives of those around me," Gonzalez said. "Being part of the nation’s largest minority, civic engagement is critical for the Latino population."

The 2012 class of CHCI Summer Interns represents 10 different Hispanic ethnic backgrounds, pursuing 20 different fields of study for their bachelor’s degrees. Interns are responsible for conducting legislative research, monitoring day-to-day hearings, managing constituent communications and assisting with general policy matters.

They participate in weekly CHCI leadership development sessions, engage in policy discussions and meet with corporate representatives, national elected officials and foreign dignitaries.

They are also responsible for completing a community service project to benefit the Washington, D.C. community.

For more information about the program, visit

Photo courtesy of Melisa Diaz.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

PAL program hits stage with former Pink Floyd singer

Fifteen Police Activities League (PAL) youth were selected to perform on stage with Roger Waters, former lead singer of Pink Floyd, during his recent sold out concert at Time Warner Cable Arena on July 10.

"The youth were able to experience the professionalism and dedication involved with putting on such a concert, as well as, the amount of practice involved," said Jeff Hood, executive director for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg PAL program.

Since 1968, PAL of Charlotte-Mecklenburg has been providing supervised athletic programs and educational endeavors for youth in the area, according to their website.

Participants at the concert included Maya Hood, Jachai Brown, Brittney Conner, Danielle Robinson, Ariel Outland, Ivy Briscoe, Miyonah Whitaker, Charles Rosser, Kalani Polite, Jahmia Jackson, Antonie Jetter, Nehemiah Nellons, Orande Smith, Aaliyah Buckhalter and Demario Pagan.

See their performance onstage with Waters at,

Photo courtesy of Jeff Hood.