Kavyn Cordon, Gambrell Foundation Opportunity Scholar

Gambrell Foundation Opportunity Scholar Kavyn Cordon has had a passion for creating food and cooking for as long as he can remember. The North Mecklenburg High School graduate took a number of culinary classes in high school, knowing it was a career path he wanted to pursue after graduation.

But as commencement drew closer, and the prospect of attending Johnson & Wales remained out of reach due to its high cost, Kavyn turned his attention to Central Piedmont and its nationally-accredited culinary arts program.

The more he learned about Central Piedmont, the more attractive it became to the Huntersville, N.C., resident. Kavyn especially liked the college’s affordability and accessibility.

So, he decided to discuss his options at Central Piedmont with his high school guidance counselor. They recommended he apply for the college’s Opportunity Scholars program. With this in mind, Kavyn gathered the required letters of recommendation, worked to maintain his GPA, and preserve his school performance. His hard work paid off – he met the program’s requirements and was named a Gambrell Foundation Opportunity Scholar in spring 2019.

The recognition meant there would be no down time for Kavyn after high school graduation. In mid-June he began Central Piedmont’s Summer Bridge Program, an initiative that strives to make high school graduates more aware of what is expected of them in college before the start of the semester; participation in the program is a component of his scholarship.

Walking around Central Campus during Summer Bridge, Kavyn soaked in the close proximity to uptown Charlotte, enjoyed the campus’s vibrant atmosphere, and reveled in spending time with the many friends he was making as a result of being named a Gambrell Foundation Opportunity Scholar.

“I cannot thank The Gambrell Foundation enough for their support of the Opportunity Scholarship program at Central Piedmont,” explains Kavyn. “I am appreciative of the generosity they’ve shown me and my peers, and I hope I make them proud by using my culinary gifts to make a difference both in my personal life and as a professional in the kitchen.”

Kavyn is currently exploring apprenticeship opportunities that are available through the college’s culinary arts program. He aspires to join the workforce after earning his associate degree in culinary arts from Central Piedmont in spring 2021. What the future will look like post-commencement is still unclear – even to Kavyn.

“I would love to work in a restaurant setting, but I haven’t ruled out the food truck industry either,” said Kavyn. “All I know is I want to jump right into the workforce after graduation. I can’t wait to make my mark on Charlotte’s culinary scene and am hopeful about what’s still to come.”