Larson Chosen for 2022 Academic Excellence Award

HUDSON, NC (April 20, 2022) – When Lyric Larson arrived at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute and Caldwell Early College High School five years ago, she didn’t know how to log on to a computer or complete assignments online.

In a few weeks, she will graduate with an Associate in Arts degree from Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute with a 4.0 grade point average. She attributes her success, and the ability to overcome the challenges she faced in the beginning, to the teachers, mentors and advisors she met along the way.

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute President Dr. Mark Poarch, right, and CCC&TI Board of Trustees Chairman Larry Taylor, left, presented the 2022 Academic Excellence Award to Lyric Larson at Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir. The award presentation included a medallion, plaque and a letter from NC Community College System President Thomas Stith, III.

“Without the amazing support system (both) schools provided me, I doubt college would have been possible,” Larson said of attending CCC&TI and Caldwell Early College High School. “I feel like that’s a big part of the culture here – supporting people, making them feel like ‘you can do it.’”

Larson, who grew up in Collettsville and was homeschooled, was honored Tuesday at the CCC&TI Board of Trustees meeting as the 2022 Academic Excellence Award winner. CCC&TI President Dr. Mark Poarch presented her with a medal, an award plaque and a letter of congratulations from N.C. Community College System President Thomas Stith, III. She is one of 58 students statewide to receive the annual award, one from each of the North Carolina’s community colleges.

She was nominated by one of her instructors and chosen for the award by a committee of CCC&TI faculty and staff. Listed among the reasons for her selection were her academic achievements, volunteer service and her enthusiasm for education.

“Lyric loves to learn and has clear academic gifts,” said Matt Williams, an instructor of English and humanities at CCC&TI. “I sensed qualities of leadership, service and character in Lyric. … I believe she is headed toward long-term academic and life success.”

Larson has been active on campus, including being chosen as a CCC&TI Ambassador, a member of the CCC&TI Film Club and working as a Writing Center tutor. At Caldwell Early College High School, she participated in Art Club, Interact, Rotary, the Environmental Club and Beta Club. Her community involvement includes Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM), Blue Ridge Energy’s Leadership Track, God’s Closet childcare manager, volunteering for the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce, Girl Scouts of America and the Granite Falls Library mural team.

Adding to her accolades, Larson recently was awarded the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation College Scholarship. She was one of 100 high school seniors nationwide to receive the award.

Larson will graduate from CCC&TI in May having completed 75 hours of college credit, in addition to the Caldwell Early College High School program. After graduation, she plans to study Film and Television Production at Western Carolina University this fall.

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