EC Scholars - Class of 2015
Hometown/State: Clayton, North Carolina
Incoming EC Scholar Class (year): 2011
Scholarship(s) Awarded: Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished East Carolina Scholars Award
Major/Intended Major: Communications - Broadcast Journalism
Why did you choose to attend East Carolina University?Stepping onto ECU's campus, I instantly felt at home. Of all the college campuses I have visited, I have never felt the heart, pride and passion that Pirate Nation evokes. East Carolina's concentration on service and leadership parallels my devotion to such values. The Honors College and EC Scholars programs offer incredible opportunities that not only put students in a league of their own, but also give them individual attention and a sense of home that may seem unattainable in such a large university.
What has your scholarship enabled you to do?My scholarship has already established me as a leader at East Carolina. Not only have I been able to meet leaders within the university, but I have also become a leader within Pirate Nation. I have become a role model to my peers within the Honors College and within the student body. I have been immersed into a program of incredibly intelligent, talented and passionate students and directors. Because of my scholarship, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy for four weeks during the summer of 2013. This was truly a life-changing experience that taught me so much about the world around me, but I learned even more about myself. This past summer, I had the wonderful opportunity to intern for NBC News Channel in Washington, D.C. I was responsible for financing my housing entirely on my own, which many know is far from cheap in the nation’s capital. Without the EC Scholars and Honors College scholarships, it is unlikely I would have been able to afford this incredible opportunity. Most importantly, my scholarship has inspired me to do and be my best at East Carolina in every way possible. I believe this scholarship is truly an investment into my success. If someone thought I was worth their investment, then I feel it is worth my extra effort to excel in my community and beyond.
What special undergraduate research opportunities have you experienced at the university?I am in the early stages of my Senior Honors Project, through which I will work with a local volunteer fire department to ultimately create a documentary. I am starting to build relationships with them and will create feature videos to profile their lives and experiences. My goal is to shed light on the men and women who honorably serve our community day in and day out.
In the spring of my sophomore year, I was privileged to intern with a community-based research project entitled “Building a Latino Community Dialogue: Opportunities to Interact with Immigrant Communities in Eastern North Carolina.” Through this, I was able to interact with local Latinos to help spur conversation about problems they face, and then identify potential solutions. This was an incredible opportunity to truly make a difference in the lives of others through research. Had I not been an EC Scholar, I would not have been able to broaden my horizons in this way.