SANFORD - Franklin Daniel Gomez Meza, of Siler City, is Central Carolina Community College's nominee for the Dallas Herring Achievement Award.
The award is established by the North Carolina Community College System to honor the late Dr. Dallas Herring, whose philosophy of "taking people where they are and carrying them as far as they can go" is the guiding principle of the system. The award is given annually to a current or former community college student who best embodies Dr. Herring's philosophy.
Here is the story of Franklin Daniel Gomez Meza, as was presented to the Herring Award selection committee:
"When Franklin Gomez was 13 years old, he left his native Guatemala to live with his father here in the United States. Like many Guatemalan children his age, Franklin started working at a young age. His employment began when he was just 9 years old. To help his single mother, Franklin worked in a carpentry shop in the afternoons after school. He managed to balance school and work until he moved to the United States ...
"When Franklin arrived in the United States, he found himself in a new environment that was very different from Guatemala. However, he brought with him the strong work ethic he had developed at such a young age, knowing that hard work would be instrumental to success in his new country. Because he knew how important learning English would be, Franklin worked hard and learned the language in half the time it takes the average ESL student to become fluent. Eventually, Franklin graduated from Jordan-Matthews High School with honors, earning a 4.1 GPA while also being involved beyond the classroom, participating in service organizations such as Beta Club and Leo Club, not to mention playing on the school's soccer, track, and cross country teams.
"After high school, Franklin decided to pursue an Associate's Degree at Central Carolina Community College; education is expensive, and he knew that at CCCC he would be able to save money to put towards his four-year degree. He has already been accepted into the C-Step program to go to UNC-Chapel Hill, where he plans to pursue his goal of earning a Bachelor's Degree in Education. Franklin's long-term plan is to return to Jordan-Matthews High School as an ESL teacher, to repay the help he received when he first came to the United States and to share his own story. He wants to be a role model for these students and show them that, with dedication and hard work, it is possible to succeed in the United States."
For more information on Central Carolina Community College, visit www.cccc.edu.
Franklin Daniel Gomez Meza, of Siler City, is Central Carolina Community College's nominee for the Dallas Herring Achievement Award.