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RCC University Transfer Grad Hannah Pearson enters UNCP as a junior at the age of 17

RCC’s University Transfer graduate Hannah Pearson has a goal – to become a licensed teacher for the State of North Carolina by the age of 19. At the age of 17, she graduated from Robeson Community College with an associate of arts and from Fairmont High School with her diploma, and come this Friday, she will begin moving into her dorm at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where she will begin classes with junior status next Wednesday.

“I’m actually really excited, I am just ready for the new experience, ready to meet more people, and ready to see what college life is all about,” Pearson said.

Pearson is ambitious, to say the least. She graduated at the top of her class as the valedictorian and was the only student from Fairmont to also earn an associate degree upon graduation.

So how did she do it?

“I was a CCP student, I started back in the 10th grade back in 2020,” Pearson said. “The program really helps prepare you for college, and honestly because I took CCP, now that I’m actually going to a university, I feel more at ease compared to somebody just now getting into college.

CCP stands for career and college promise, it’s an initiative that allows high school students in Robeson County to earn college credits for free at Robeson Community College.

“Starting high school, I actually had this goal, that before I graduated high school, I wanted to graduate with at least 60 college credits,” Pearson said. “So just knowing how much it would push me further in life, how much it could advance me, that’s what made me want to take those college classes.”

“CCP is honestly just a wonderful experience, not only do get a chance to experience college, but it provides free college classes, you don’t have to pay at all,” Pearson added. “You can take all the classes you want and get your credits without having to pay a dime, compared to going to college after high school and spending hundreds of thousands just to take a course.”

Pearson has already scheduled all of her classes for the Fall semester at UNCP.

“I went straight into my major,” she said.

Some of her classes include Intro to Education, Reading and Required Language Arts Skills, and Intro to Special Education.

“I’m really looking at teaching kindergarten or first grade, and if not those two age groups, then I’m looking at fifth-grade math,” Pearson stated, showing she already has a game plan in place for when she graduates from UNCP.

Pearson says she feels she is following in her mother’s footsteps, who like her, excelled in high school, was valedictorian of her class, and went on to become a teacher. Her mother in essence became her inspiration for wanting to go into the education field, to work hard, to persevere and to exemplify excellence in all that she does.

“She has been a teacher for 28 years,” Pearson said. “Growing up, I always saw how devoted she was to helping the kids and I actually took a job shadowing opportunity back in 8th grade where I went to Green Grove Elementary school, and acted as a teacher assistant for a class of kindergartners… I just loved that experience.”

As Pearson sets sail for UNCP over the next two years, she does have a message for high school students in Robeson County.

“I would say to never give up, continue to chase your dreams as long as you do the best you can do, nothing else matters,” Pearson says. “If you have a goal, set your goal and go for it, because you can do it, you can do anything that you put your mind to.”

“Attending Robeson Community College was great, I got a degree, not just a diploma, but a degree,” Pearson said. “I am really grateful to Robeson Community College for this opportunity. If it were not for the CCP program, I would not be as far in life as I am right now.”

“This has been such a pleasant experience,” Pearson continued. “Going through the CCP program, being able to graduate, and now being able to start college right at my major instead of having to worry about general education classes, and then also thinking about how much money RCC has allowed me to save, I just want to say that I am forever grateful.”

The CCP program at Robeson Community College is open to high school students who reside in Robeson County, including students enrolled in the Public Schools of Robeson County, private schools, or who may be homeschooled. Students can choose a variety of pathways, such as earning a degree like Hannah or obtaining industry-recognized credentials, certificates, and diplomas in healthcare, cosmetology, industrial technologies, firefighting, business, and more. To enroll in the CCP program at RCC, please contact Patricia Locklear, the director of admissions at 910-272-3356 or 


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