“When I was chosen as an EC Scholar, I knew all my hard work had paid off.”
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Aspiring pediatric dentist
Breanne Smith has many talents and interests ranging from athletics to academics to community service, especially in the area of dentistry.
The soon-to-be 18-year-old senior from Wake Forest is a student at Franklin Academy and is the daughter of Karen Ron and J. Scott Smith. She is one of 20 freshmen entering East Carolina University this fall as an EC Scholar, the most prestigious undergraduate academic scholarship program offered at ECU.
"I chose ECU because of the amazing opportunities that the university offers and the impressive dental school," said Smith. "The EC Scholars Program provides unmatched academic support in addition to opportunities that most other universities do not have available. I am excited to be a part of a devoted group of students whose goal is to make an impact at the university."
While at ECU, Smith plans to major in biology with hopes of furthering her education by attending dental school and then becoming a pediatric dentist. She is an intern at Carolina Pediatric Dentistry in Raleigh, where she will continue to work over the summer gaining valuable experience and becoming certified to perform patient X-rays.
Smith also will volunteer with the North Carolina Missions of Mercy clinics, which give free aid to people from rural and disadvantaged backgrounds who may not be able to afford dental care.
As an EC Scholar and ECU student, Smith looks forward to being involved in organizations and clubs, including peer tutoring at the Pirate Academic Success Center, joining an intramural swim team, the pre-dental honor society and a social justice club.
The four-year merit scholarship recognizes outstanding academic performance, commitment to community engagement and strong leadership skills. Recipients receive an Honors College scholarship for four years, along with a stipend for study abroad, for a total value of nearly $62,000.
Smith wants to study abroad in Europe, perhaps Sweden or Denmark.
"No matter where I study, I hope to gain a better understanding of how health care works in different parts of Europe," said Smith.
Among her many academic honors, Smith is ranked first out of 129 students in her class and has a 4.79 GPA. She is a member of the National Honor Society; Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society, where she serves as vice president; Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society, where she serves as secretary; Spanish National Honor Society; and Junior Civitan.
In her spare time, Smith is an active member of the Franklin Academy swim team, serving as captain, and has attended numerous regional and state swim meets. She also served as junior captain and team statistician for the Franklin Academy cross-country running team and has participated in the Rex Healthcare Triathlon.
Through her community, Smith has completed more than 150 hours of service with the Girl Scouts, as a math tutor to Franklin Academy students, volunteering with St. Luke's Youth Ministry, assisting at the Tri-Area Food Pantry, and babysitting and pet-sitting in her neighborhood.