Hard Work Leads to Scholarship for Navy Vet

PITT Community College Foundation | August 8th, 2016

Martina Hardison Earns 2016 John Minges Criminal Justice Scholarship

John MingesWINTERVILLE—The Pitt Community College Public Services and Fine Arts Division recently honored Martina Hardison for academic excellence by presenting her with the 2016 John Minges Criminal Justice Scholarship.

Hardison, a Criminal Justice Technology student with a 4.0 GPA, is on track to receive an associate degree from PCC in December. Through the Minges Scholarship, she will receive $500 to help offset the cost of her educational expenses.

“I am elated and grateful to have received this scholarship,” said Hardison, who plans to transfer to N.C. Wesleyan College for a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice upon completion of her studies at Pitt. She is working toward a career as a probation officer.

A Blounts Creek resident, Hardison enrolled at PCC after a 20-year career with the U.S. Navy in which she earned numerous medals for achievement and good conduct along with a pair of National Defense Service medals and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. Though excited about her future as her military service drew to a close, she was also saddened by the thought of leaving “an organization whose dedication to duty, honor and country were not just words but a way of life.”

By taking advantage of her military benefits to enroll in PCC’s criminal justice program, Hardison says she is now focused on utilizing her education to its fullest potential and making a difference in her community.

“I want to help enforce our laws, hold probationers accountable, and assist victims with receiving justice,” she says in explaining why she chose criminal justice as her new career. “I like to think that if I learn the system and follow the guidelines, every once in a while I may make a difference.”

PCC Criminal Justice Instructor Dawn Vaughan says the future is bright for the 40-year-old Hardison, who works 25 hours a week with the Beaufort County Veterans Affairs Office in addition to attending college.

“Martina is very responsible and dependable, and her ambition is evident in her academic ethics and performance,” Vaughan said. “… She is a role model for her peers, and her positive attitude, eagerness to learn and dedication to meeting classroom responsibilities while holding down a job is why she was an ideal selection for the Minges Scholarship.”

Applicants for the Minges Scholarship must be second-year students with a minimum 3.0 grade point average and at least 24 credit hours earned from PCC’s Criminal Justice Technology program. They must also submit an application and letter of recommendation along with a 500- to 750-word essay.

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