Student's long-time interest sets her college path in stone

Published on: February 14, 2023
Chloe Redfern exploring Belize.
GTCC CCP student Chloe Redfern explores Belize during a Girl Scout trip.

Chloe Redfern loves rocks.

There is a five-pound piece of quartz, which she dug up from a girl scout leader's yard, to greet visitors when they cross the porch to the Redfern front door. In the living room, there are three geodes. Rocks varying in size and shape are sprinkled throughout the rest of the house.

"I love dirt, I love rocks. Anything like that has always been fascinating to me. When I was younger the other girls were picking flowers and turning cartwheels. I was digging for sparkly rocks, but with my princess dress on," Redfern said.

"I have a bad habit of bringing rocks home. My mom is tired of rocks."

Her love of rocks is guiding her toward becoming a geological engineer. And Guilford Technical Community College's Career and College Promise (CCP) program, has given her quite the head start on her path to a four-year degree.

Redfern, who doesn't turn 18 until April, is less than a semester away from graduating from GTCC with an associate degree in science. At the same time, she will also graduate from The College Preparatory and Leadership Academy in Jamestown, N.C., better known as The Point. Redfern attended The Point her freshman and sophomore years and began taking classes in the CCP program as a junior, completing the last two years of high school and the first two years of college simultaneously.

"It was definitely a change, but it has matured me a bunch," Redfern said of the move into the CCP program. "There were things like getting a parking permit that I had never done before; things like walking to different buildings for classes. It is different, but it's teaching me what I need to be prepared when I go away to school."

The CCP program also offers financial advantages. It is a tuition-free program for high school juniors and seniors who have a cumulative, unweighted GPA of 2.8 or higher or passing test scores.

"The CCP program covers our full tuition and we just pay for our books and extra things, like lab materials. Our general tuition is covered and that has been a blessing," said Redfern, who is from Lexington. "I will graduate with an associate degree at 18 and the college financial burden will have been cut in half."

Redfern will finish her undergraduate work at either North Carolina A&T State University or UNC Charlotte. She's been accepted to both and is weighing her options. Both universities have the degree concentrations she is interested in: civil or environmental engineering, which would help pave the way for her to work in geological engineering.

She spent part of last summer exploring Belize on a girl scout trip, believes that because of her involvement in the CCP program, she will have an advantage over other 18-year-old students on whichever campus she lands.

"I do think I'm going to be ahead," she said. "Especially with the experience I've gained and what I know to expect from the rigors of college classes."

Redfern says she will be forever indebted to GTCC for the head start on the next chapter of her college career.

"I think, if it was possible, I would say everyone gave 125 percent to help me. They have been there every step of the way," she said. "I've had my own advisor that's always right there to make sure I'm going in the right direction, letting me know what college credits will work, to make sure I knew about the tutoring center. That all has given me a nice push."

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