Avery - Maria

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EC Scholars Class of 2012

Maria Avery

Hometown/State: Ernul, North Carolina

Incoming EC Scholar Class (year): 2008

Scholarship(s) Awarded: Harold H. Bate Foundation, Inc. EC Scholars Award

Major/Intended Major: Elementary Education

Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University?

East Carolina University chose me in a way. I received two major scholarships to ECU and decided to accept the EC Scholars offer. I had my heart set on NC State, but I'm a Pirate through and through now! I always said I would never attend ECU because it was too close to home. Now I feel like this IS my home!

What has your scholarship enabled you to do?

My scholarship enabled me to volunteer at a local elementary school during my freshman year. I have bounced back and forth between a number of majors and I just recently decided on Elementary Education. I feel the time at the school helped show me what my true passion is in life. The scholarship also made it possible for me to go to England for the Spring 2010 semester. It was a completely life changing experience. I took literature classes that I never would have taken here in the United States and loved them! Being surrounded by people so different from you is a huge "eye opener." I learned a great deal about myself.

What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university?

As a group, the 2008 Scholars went to the ECU Team Challenge Course before our first semester began. We had all moved into Umstead Residence Hall and still did not know each other. The challenge course helps you to work together as a team if you want to be successful at it. By the end of the day, we knew each other in ways that just "hanging out" wouldn't have supported. We each took a turn in leading our group by voicing our thoughts or by just being respectful and listening to others.

What are your career plans/aspirations?

Now that I have finally found the major I was meant to be in, Elementary Education, I hope to continue on to earn a doctorate degree. I haven't decided what areas I would like to pursue, but advancing my education is a definite path that I will take. While I am in the process of completing that, I would like to work for a DOD school in another country. I love experiencing new things and new places and I feel that would be the most amazing time of my life if I was able to work, live, and play for an extended amount of time in another country.

How have you made a positive impact while you have been at East Carolina University?

I made a positive impact while at ECU by volunteering at a local elementary school. I helped young minds learn new material and reinforced current knowledge. My work in the classroom helped me obtain a job at a summer camp for the last two years. When returning campers come up to me and tell me how much they love me and that they missed me over the school year, I feel like I made a very small but important impact in their lives. I hope that one day they will do their best to be a positive role model for younger people.