Booker - Alexandria

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EC Scholars Class of 2012

Alexandria Booker

Hometown/State: Elkin, North Carolina

Incoming EC Scholar Class (year): 2008

Scholarship(s) Awarded: Frances Lowin and Theodore F. Pories EC Scholars Award; John F. and Margaret Heckel McCarthy EC Scholars Award

Major/Intended Major: Biology and Anthropology

Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University?

As soon as I stepped onto campus, I felt like I was home. I loved walking through campus and seeing all the students dressed in purple. School spirit and pride could be felt everywhere. The campus was so beautiful and felt small even though East Carolina is the second largest school in North Carolina. I knew I would have the benefits of a large University, without being overwhelmed.

What has your scholarship enabled you to do?

Two of the greatest benefits of being an EC Scholar are the built in peer group and the study abroad stipend. Being a freshman at any college can be overwhelming, but taking small seminar style classes with other serious students is one of the best ways to stay on track. Because we were living in the same building and taking classes together, we developed strong friendships. The study abroad stipend also gave all of us an amazing opportunity. I was able to study abroad for a semester in Fall 2009 in Spain. It was an amazing experience that I would not have had, if I had not received the EC Scholar Award.

What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university?

Working with students at Belvoir Elementary was an amazing experience that allowed us, as a group of EC Scholars, to make a big impact in the lives of children. Each week we spent time working either one-on-one with a student, or with the entire class. I specifically helped two different kindergarteners improve their reading and counting skills.

What are your career plans/aspirations?

I plan to work with children who have medical issues outside of the United States. My goal is to create culturally appropriate medical aid programs. I feel that programs aimed toward aiding a specific area or culture should not be based specifically on western medical practices. In order to best benefit those being helped, the people requiring the aid must feel comfortable and not offended by the program. Otherwise, the program may not succeed. Paul Farmer (and his program Partners in Health) has made tremendous progress on eliminating Multi Drug Resistant Tuberculosis worldwide because his programs vary depending on the country he works in. I hope to be able to accomplish something like this one day.

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

Since entering East Carolina University, I have volunteered in different activities to help the Greenville community. As EC Scholars we worked at Belvoir Elementary School. I also helped with the annual Million Meals Challenge held at CM Eppes Middle School. My sorority's national philanthropy is Arthritis Research, and in order to raise money, I have worked at the University Book Exchange, and helped organize an event dinner with all of the proceeds supporting Arthritis Research.