Congratulations to Tammy Pyles, a student at Caldwell Community & Technical Institute (CCC&TI) , who placed first in the North Carolina Paralegal Association (NCPA) student sholarship Essay Contest.
Tammy will receive a $400 scholarship, a free one-year student membership in NCPA, and free registration to the 31st Annual NCPA Meeting and Seminar in Cary, N.C. from March 24-26, 2011. Pyles’ essays will also be published in a future issue of the NCPA FORUM magazine.
The essay recounts Pyles’ story as one of six children raised in a “blue-collar” family with a strong work ethic. She started working as a child, first with a paper route, chores and baby-sitting and moving on to part-time work as a teenager to help her mother with household expenses.
“I have worked for nearly my entire life,” Pyles writes in her essay. “Through all of this, the desire for higher education remained in my heart. I attended college classes at night from time to time but never completed a degree.”
Pyles, who is originally from Pittsburg, Pa., relocated to the Caldwell County area in 2002. She worked for a short time in sales and later took a job in a medical office where most of her previous experience had been. After five years, she decided she needed a change. She found herself without a job and with a decision to make.
“I asked myself, ‘OK, where do I go from here,’ and the most attractive and exciting scenario that played through my mind was the opportunity for a new career. I could better myself, even in the face of unprecedented economic downturn, by earning a college degree.”
Pyles says that the decision for her to return to school was a family decision and that she is thankful for the support she receives from her husband, Brian, and two sons.
“It has been a sacrifice for my whole family for me to be doing this, to be going to school full time. I couldn’t do it without their support.”
Being a full-time student with a family was part of what motivated Pyles to enter the North Carolina Paralegal Association’s essay contest.
“With being in school full time and having a family, money is tight but I was interested in membership with the NCPA and attending the conference,” she said. “I am truly thrilled that my essay won and that I will be able to attend the NCPA Annual Meeting and Seminar.”
Paralegal Program Director Amy Hall says that Pyles is an excellent student and is deserving of the award.
“Tammy is an exemplary student. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the classroom and is a joy to teach. I am so proud of Tammy’s accomplishments,” said Hall. “She is very deserving of this award and will represent our college well at the upcoming North Carolina Paralegal Association Annual Seminar.”
Now in her second semester of the Paralegal Program at CCC&TI and boasting a 4.0 grade oint average, Pyles says she is excited about what the future will hold once she has chieved her dream of earning a degree. Pyles says she has some specific plans for how to se her newfound knowledge and skills.
“My desire is to work within the community through a government or county agency or ourt system, perhaps as a child support advocate, or in a social services position,” she said. “This type of paralegal work is most attractive to me because helping people, especially hildren, is truly my heart.”
Congratulations, Tammy! You’ve set goals and worked hard to achieve them.
Source: CCC&TI and the Charlotte Observer