Nelson - Rachel

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EC Scholars Class of 2012

Rachel Nelson

Hometown/State: Greensboro, North Carolina

Incoming EC Scholar Class (year): 2008

Scholarship(s) Awarded: Eddie and Jo Smith EC Scholars Award

Major/Intended Major: Art & Design: Textiles

Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University?

I chose to come to ECU because of the amazing art program here, and I fell in love with the campus on a tour I took.

What has your scholarship enabled you to do?

My scholarship has enabled me to pursue a higher education. Coming from a household with four children, my parents didn't have the means to put all four of us through college, three during the same time. It has given me the opportunity to explore my love of art and the chance to pursue my career dreams.

What unique leadership opportunities have you experienced at the university?

I'm a Resident Advisor, which is the biggest leadership opportunity I've ever had, and it's also the most responsibility I've probably ever been faced with. It's quite daunting knowing that I'm a leader of an entire building, but at the same time, this opportunity has allowed me to grow more than any other leadership experience has.

What are your career plans/aspirations?

I plan on being an author and illustrator of children's books, but I'd also like to teach either elementary school or on a collegiate level. My biggest goal is to win the Caldecott Award and/or the Newberry Award for Children's Literature.

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

I've tried to make a positive impact through my art. I believe that art is one of the best ways to inspire people. When people see an amazing piece of art, they're inspired to do something, anything in fact. They're inspired to create, to build, to develop, and to express themselves in any way possible. You don't have to be an artist to be affected or inspired by art. Art can inspire a business major, a biology major, a psychology major, it doesn't matter. When we see beauty in artwork, it pushes us to find beauty in the world, and if we can't find it in the world, it pushes us to create it ourselves.

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