Meet Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer
— In this series, we highlight the work of our Inaugural Opportunity Champions and share their vision for Charlotte-Mecklenburg's future.
Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, President of Central Piedmont Community College and 2019 Inaugural Opportunity Champion
Leading on Opportunity: What is your vision for economic mobility in Charlotte-Mecklenburg?
Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer: To see transformative change that ensures future generations can live out their potential and know their aspirations are within reach. I want to be part of a Charlotte-Mecklenburg community that allows everyone access to opportunity that can transform their life and circumstance. I want to see Charlotte-Mecklenburg leverage the many assets we already have to [its] greatest potential. I see this not as a challenge, but as a huge opportunity. Throughout my beginnings in this community, I have been both excited and overwhelmed by the plethora of opportunities we have in our region to advance some of our most critical concerns. I believe if we can connect our current assets for a greater advantage, rather than create new entities, we will make greater strides more expeditiously.
Leading on Opportunity: What does opportunity mean to you?
Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer: All great things come from opportunity. We must continue to be a great, global city full of economic prosperity that ensures our native residents are being educated and trained for the very jobs we work to bring to our region. We must strengthen the pathways already in place while establishing new ones that provide greater equity and opportunities to personal and career success. If we can build talent pipelines of educated, well-trained residents, our current employers will prosper and grow, and new ones will come.
Leading on Opportunity: How does Leading on Opportunity’s North Star Goal inspire and connect to your work?
Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer: Economic mobility has to begin with education. If every child in Mecklenburg County is to have an equal chance to achieve success, that means every child will be well educated. Being well-educated means every child can read at or above grade level and every child completes high school ready to move on to further education or career training. It means pathways will be in place, starting in middle school, that help students think about careers and where their skills and passions meet. More students will begin taking college-level courses in high school and then make the transition from high school to Central Piedmont or one of our four-year universities seamlessly. It means by the time students begin the 12th grade, they will already have pathway they know will lead them to career training or to a two- or four-year degree.
Central Piedmont is ready. We know our students come from different places and different situations with different experiences and levels of preparation. We know gaps in achievement and program completion currently exist among our students. Our challenge is to help more students navigate the college, persist in their studies and earn a credential that leads to a career or further education. We must create pathways that provide greater equity without lessening academic rigor.
To learn more, follow Central Piedmont @cpcc on Twitter and @centralpiedmontcc on Facebook and Instagram or visit them on the web at cpcc.edu.
Moving Charlotte from 50 out of 50 in economic mobility is a collaborative, community effort. With that in mind, Leading on Opportunity set a goal to build an Opportunity Movement that celebrates everyone's contributions. On March 26, 2019, we honored 50 Inaugural Opportunity Champions who have gone above and beyond to support implementation and align to one or more of our 21 community-inspired strategies within the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force Report. Often without any public recognition, this group of distinguished leaders set the bar high for others in our community to invest in building a stronger equitable community for all children, youth and families. We hope you are inspired to learn more about their work.