Neda Ebrahimi was accepted to prestigious Emory University in Atlanta, but she chose Central Piedmont Community College. It’s a decision she hasn’t regretted, she says.
As a member of the graduating class of 2014, with CPCC’s commencement exercises scheduled for Thursday afternoon and evening at Bojangles’ Coliseum, Ebrahimi said Mecklenburg’s community college has given her exactly what she wanted on route to a career in medicine.
“For me, it was the right choice,” said Ebrahimi, 22, who is headed to UNC Charlotte this fall.
“I know there are people who hear the words ‘community college’ and think it’s high school,” she added. “I can tell you, that was not the case.”
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She was born in Iran, lived for several years in Turkey, and then came to the United States with her family about 12 years ago. She graduated from East Mecklenburg High and said being a doctor is what she always wanted.
Ebrahimi, whose brother Sam is studying pre-med at Duke University, said the classes she took at CPCC were plenty tough.
“I was challenged, especially in my science classes,” she said. “The organic chemistry and physiology classes were tough.”
Ebrahimi said she took the toughest classes CPCC could offer.
“I didn’t want ‘reality’ to hit when I transferred to UNCC,” she said. “I wanted ‘reality’ to happen now.”
Attending CPCC also gave Ebrahimi a chance to stay close to family and friends, something that was important for her.
“I’m a family person,” she said. “I was able to stay close to home, get a good education, and prepare myself for the next chapter in my story.”
CPCC even helped her pay the bills.
Ebrahimi enrolled in the work-study program and held a job in the office at the college’s Levine campus in Matthews. Earlier this week, she was honored as CPCC’s Student-Employee of the Year.
She said she realizes receiving an associate of science degree from CPCC this week is merely the first step. She has at least six more years of school before she becomes a doctor.
“What keeps me going is knowing that when I’m done, I will be able to serve people,” she said. “The reason we are here is to serve one another. When I was young, there was a doctor to take care of me when I was sick. I want to be the person who’s there for others in years to come.”