Jessica Jewell

Jessica Jewell: Bound for communications

Jessica Jewell always has been passionate about service.

She worked last summer as a camp counselor for at-risk children. She is drawn to working with children and other teenagers in difficult situations.

"I am blessed to live in a wonderful community with parents who have always pushed me to maximize my potential, so I see it as my duty to do all I can to share my talents with others through service," said Jewell, who is the daughter of Gary and Rhonda Jewell of Clayton.

East Carolina University's motto "to serve" was a motivating factor in her decision to attend. Being able to study abroad was another huge attraction in being an EC Scholar.

And she won't be the only alumni in her family. Her father received his bachelor's in business administration from ECU in 1972. "He couldn't be more excited to see me in purple and gold," she said.

She is looking forward to entering ECU's communications program, with an interest in broadcast journalism. She loves to write and will intern this summer at her hometown newspaper, The Clayton News-Star, where she has worked before. She recently wrote a story about her school, Clayton High School, winning $10,000 in a lip-syncing contest.

Jewell, ranked second in her class of 473, was a nominee for the Centennial Scholarship and a finalist for the Park Scholarship at North Carolina State University, and was a Morehead-Cain Scholarship nominee and semi-finalist at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She also received a substantial scholarship offer from New York University.

"But coming to Greenville and walking around ECU's campus felt like home," Jewell said. "I felt like I was where I was supposed to be."

She was co-captain this year of her varsity cheerleading squad and a member each year of high school. She cheered three years with the Clayton Shockers, a competitive year round cheerleading travel team. She held leadership positions in the National Honor Society, Student Government Association and Interact and served on the Johnston County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council. And she had perfect attendance throughout high school, a goal she set after missing elementary and middle school sporadically as she struggled to keep her diabetes under control.

"I have learned a lot about being an effective leader," Jewell said. "Leadership isn't always being the person in charge, calling all the shots. Leadership is using your talents to set an example for others to follow, whether you're the star athlete or you're sitting on the bench. Being a leader is about making the right choices when you think no one is watching."

She will enjoy her time at home this summer, exercising and hanging out with friends, before entering ECU this fall, just in time for football season.

About EC Scholars

EC Scholars exhibit outstanding academic performance and effective leadership skills. They have opportunities to contribute to faculty-led research studies, engagement in the community andmultiple service activities.

The amount awarded to scholarship recipients is $40,000 ($5,000 per semester for eight continuous semesters). In addition, EC Scholars are provided with a $5,000 stipend to help support their required study abroad experience.

The entering Class of 2015 EC Scholar recipients have completed a rigorous three-tier selection process that includes: meeting the Honors College admissions criteria, having an additional faculty review and completing an on-campus interview.  The incoming EC Scholar recipients have an average math/verbal SAT score of 1307 and an average unweighted GPA of 3.89.

- Crystal Baity, ECU News Services