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Azareel Young Receives Minges Scholarship

Azareel Young (center) receives the John Minges Scholarship from Dr. Dan Mayo (left), Dean of PCC's Public Services and Fine Arts Division, and Phil Baggett, PCC's Criminal Justice Department Chair.

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College’s Legal Science/Public Service Division recently presented the John Minges Scholarship to criminal justice student Azareel Young in recognition of his classroom excellence.

A Plymouth resident, Young is a second-year student with a 3.1 grade point average. The 20-year-old is expected to graduate next summer and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at either UNC-Charlotte or Fayetteville State.

Through the Minges Scholarship, Young will receive $500 to help offset the cost of his educational and transportation expenses. A father of twin daughters, Young spends two hours each day driving to and from school.

A former high school sports star, Young was a member of Plymouth High School’s 2007 State Football Championship team. Though had an opportunity to attend a four-year university upon graduation in 2010, he chose PCC to be closer to home and meet his obligations as a single parent.

"It was the best thing for me to be a part of my children's lives and not go away to college,” Young explained. “I could not see myself going away to a four year school and leaving my children behind.”

Young, who plans to one day be a U.S. marshal before eventually becoming a criminal justice professor at a university, said he chose criminal justice as his major because it captured his interest like no other area of study.

"When it is all said and done and I am old and gray, I want to be called, ‘Dr. Azareel Latron Young,’” he said.

Despite having to balance home life with school work, Young has excelled at PCC both in and out of the classroom. He is vice president of the college’s Criminal Justice Association and a member of the NEXT LEVEL Minority Male Mentoring Program.

“Azareel epitomizes the characteristics of justice, integrity and service, which is the mantra of the U.S. Marshals Service,” said Andre Gregory, coordinator of PCC’s Minority Male Mentoring Program. “He has never ceased to amaze me in his ability to manage many out of classroom obligations, while diligently striving for academic success.”

Young credits his PCC instructors with helping him succeed academically. One of those instructors, Altrice Gales, says Young has “an impeccable attendance record,” despite driving back and forth from Plymouth each day.   

"Azareel greets me each morning with a smile,” Gales said. “… He is eager to learn and obviously places school as one of his highest priorities."

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 program. Applicants must also submit a completed application accompanied by two letters of recommendation and a writing sample.