Student Awarded Belk and Levine Scholarships at UNCC

Miles Shen with his canine companion, Claudia

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Miles Shen, a Stanly Early College and Stanly Community College student has been selected as a Levine Scholar as well as a Belk Scholar at UNC-Charlotte (UNCC). Both scholarships are prestigious and only high school seniors who are eager to embark on transformative college experiences are selected. Both require students to demonstrate a commitment to community service, hold an academic record that reflects a sustained passion for knowledge, and possess a capacity for ethical leadership that elevates fellow students to a higher standard.

The Levine Scholars Program is UNCC’s premier four-year merit scholarship program, which only enrolls 20 students each year and provides them with full tuition, room, and board fees. It also provides a grant, which Miles explains will allow him “to implement my very own community service project. Additionally, I will have the opportunity to study abroad to gain a global perspective as well as obtain internships in my field of study to introduce me to career and leadership concepts.”

The Belk Scholars Program in the Belk College of Business, part of the Data Science Initiative, allows high- achieving students the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in five years. This fast- track curriculum enables graduates to pursue lucrative, high-demand careers in business analytics. The scholarship will cover all tuition, renewable for four years.

Miles balances his academic career with his volunteer work as a certified therapy dog handler. Volunteering at Central Elementary, Locust Public Library, and the Mint Hill Public Library, he aims to promote literacy with his canine companion, Claudia. “Claudia and I [also] visit students at West Stanly High School through  the ‘Learning for Life’ program and other literacy promoting events. This has been important to me because it encourages reading in an enjoyable and fun environment for children. Whenever I see a child’s face light up with a smile upon seeing Claudia, it warms my heart. The enthusiasm of a young reader excitedly sitting down next to Claudia and reading her a story makes me feel like we are truly making a difference in a child’s education,” Miles said.

Miles is a member of the Stanly Early College National Honors Society and Stanly Community College Phi Theta Kappa. With all of the things Miles is involved in, he also found time to become a classically trained pianist.

There are many things that Miles attributes to his success, “Through harmonizing education, family, community service, piano, work, and social life, I have been able to excel. I have had a wonderful education through Stanly County Schools, and every teacher has given me the tools to be successful. My mother and two sisters have encouraged me throughout my life.”

April Simpson, SCC Mathematics Instructor, and previous SEC Math Instructor has taught Miles for four semesters. “Miles has portrayed the qualities of a student that values education and sees the benefits coming from bettering himself. He is accepting of the diversity around him and embraces the views offered by others. He has proven to be dependable and driven to make the world a better place. Miles is a model student and a teacher’s dream,” Simpson said.

The Belk Scholarship, made possible by Belk, Inc., was established to attract high quality students for the Business Analytics Program. The combination of technical training and knowledge of the business environment sets Belk Scholars Program graduates apart in seeking rewarding careers in the growing field of big data analytics. The Levine Scholarship is provided through Sandra and Leon Levine. Mr. Levine opened a single store in 1959 which grew into the Family Dollar Stores. His and his wife’s contributions and interest in communities have made them a marvelous example of philanthropic support. “I would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Leon Levine for giving me the opportunity through their scholarship to carry-on their philanthropic work,” Miles said.

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