Posted on Thursday, April 24, 2014

VCCS BlogCourtney Hill has a very active social life. Not. Her pursuit of academic excellence is practically an all-consuming proposition.

“The sacrifice I make in order to keep up my grades is probably my social life. I basically have none. I work and sometimes study while I am at work.”

DCC Photo Courtney HillNot surprisingly, her list of hobbies is a conspicuously short one: Phi Theta Kappa, volunteering with the Red Cross, and spending time with family and friends.

Hill says she has always pushed herself to maintain an A average and that maintaining such a high GPA requires a great deal of discipline and focus.

“I have the discipline that it takes, focus sometimes, but what I think is really important is to learn how the teachers grade. I have learned how to study for exams by studying the type of exam the teacher will give. I focus on concepts, instead of memorizing small details of information.”

Hill attributes a lot of her academic success to the corps of instructors at DCC who she says encouraged her to think independently.

“My professors have always challenged me to ensure that I have been pushed to always think outside of the norm. My teachers see the potential in me and their words really resonate with me.”

Currently a liberal arts major at DCC with a specialization in social science, Hill plans to transfer to UNC Wilmington in the fall and hopes to one day earn her master’s in psychology.

“I have several ideas for careers in psychology but I do not want to limit myself to just one field as of right now.”

Hill says she was ecstatic when she found out earlier this year that she had won a Coca-Cola Gold Scholarship Award. But she had no idea that she’d been selected from such a vast pool of candidates. An even bigger surprise would come during April’s Phi Theta Kappa All Virginia Academic Team Awards Luncheon in Richmond.

“My professors kept the $500 stipend a secret until my name was announced to come up on stage. I have been placed in the All-USA Top Ten and I was about to cry from the joy. I cannot believe that it was kept a secret for so long!”

Craig Butterworth

A native of Richmond, Craig Butterworth is an award-winning broadcast journalist and communications professional. He has worked as a spokesperson, staff writer and editor for a variety of non-profit and for-profit organizations throughout the Richmond area.

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