RCCC alumna credits college for personal and professional success

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 22, 2015

When Christina Helm began classes at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, it had been quite a while since she had stepped into a classroom. Helm had always dreamed of earning a college education, but her dream took a backseat to life.

Now, a successful business woman pursing her bachelor’s degree and a local catering and food service marketing director at DIVINE APPÉTIT CO., Helm credits her success to her time at Rowan-Cabarrus.

“Rowan-Cabarrus not only prepared me for the next steps in my educational and professional journey, they instilled in me a lost confidence. I am so grateful for my time there, and I am where I am today because of God and the investment Rowan-Cabarrus Community College made in me as an individual,” said Helm.

Growing up in West Virginia and attending boarding school in Kentucky, Helm always knew her education was important. She began working towards her associate degree while still in high school and earned an Associate of Arts in Religion just a year after high school graduation.

Helm planned to continue at a four-year college, but shortly after earning her degree, she married young and began her family. After moving to North Carolina with her husband, she took on one of the most challenging and rewarding careers, being a devoted stay-at-home mom.

After many years, Helm found herself as a single mother recuperating from divorce. Helm spent some time substitute teaching for occupational course of study students, and while she loved her new role, she was reminded about the importance of education. She realized her efforts to secure steady employment without an accompanying bachelor’s degree were futile. So, she found herself back at RCCC enrolling in business classes.

Once at RCCC, Helm flourished. She had great teachers, awesome grades and got involved in student life extracurricular activities. She was even selected as part of the first community college group to participate in an international business competition.  She was one of only 50 students in the world to participate in a business symposium with Louis Vuitton, where she finally found her niche.

“I am passionate about giving praise to Rowan-Cabarrus and to instructors like Karen Lynden, Robin Turner and Ginger Fox, who so willingly advised and invested in my academic success,” said Helm. “I was provided opportunities that I never had experienced in so many facets of my life.”

Helm completed her associate in applied science in business in the fall of 2014 and began working for DIVINE APPÉTIT CO. right away. The company, run by young entrepreneur and Johnson and Wales trained chef D’Andrea Lawson, caters local events and also serves buffet lunches at Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury.

Helm pioneered her position with the growing company. She saw the need for a strong marketing and branding expert and proposed the new position to Lawson.

“I came in organized and with a strong plan for growing their brand. Chef Lawson was impressed with my confidence and abilities and hired me shortly after my proposal,” said Helm.

Now, Helm finds her days packed with DIVINE APPÉTIT CO., consulting budding entrepreneurs on their new operations through Christina Helm Consulting, her marketing, design and brand strategy business, while also pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Catawba College.

For more information about DIVINE APPÉTIT CO., visit their website at www.divineappetitco.com/. They are currently booking catering for the upcoming holiday season. For more information on Christina Helm Consulting visit www.christinahelmconsulting.com.

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College,  visit www.rccc.edu/apply2016 or call 704-216-7222. The college is currently accepting applications for classes beginning later this fall and in January of 2016.

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