Ann Bernadette Hilton

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Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA 

Degree: Bachelor of Science in Social Work

Honors/Involvement: Volunteer, JCSU Sustainability Village garden; School of Social Work ambassador, JCSU Job Fair; volunteer, Center City Partners’ 5 Points survey; volunteer, Clinton Chapel AME Zion Community Outreach Program; volunteer, United in Jazz concert series for First United Presbyterian Church.

What’s Next: New Beginning Church in Mint Hill is planning a home for pregnant teens and Your Destiny Learning Center, an afterschool facility, is expanding.  I have signed on as part of both organizations.

Personally Speaking: When I retired as owner of a nail tech school in Virginia, I began working as a sub and found I enjoyed working with preschoolers and kindergarteners. There is a lot of knowledge young women need to get their children on the right track, children who are nutritionally healthy therefore mentally healthy and ready to learn. Put good stuff in, get good stuff out. 

Triumph: Coming back to school has always been on my bucket list. I started college but when I had my son I dropped out. Though I loved my husband and my child, it broke my heart. In Fall of 2006, the timing was right. My husband passed away from complications of cancer just as we were getting ready to retire to Florida from Silver Springs, Maryland. My sister already lived in Charlotte; I moved here almost instantly. 

I was a widower, my child was grown, I’d bought a house and decorated it and had nothing to do. I have granddaughters going to college in Houston, a great-niece working on her master’s degree and another niece in undergrad. It was time! It was a passion, I wanted a college degree. And now I’ve got one. Now my sister is bugging me about getting a master’s degree. No, I want a job!

Proudest Moment at JCSU: In biology class 50 years ago, I never had to cut open an animal. But in Dr. Gupta’s summer school biology class I dissected a pig fetus. My classmates were squeamish but I wasn’t grossed out at all, I was right up front with Gupta. I became one of his star pupils and really enjoyed the class.