Connecting with people
While Zoe Hinton toured a variety of university honors programs across the state, only East Carolina’s Honors College felt like home.
“Nowhere else felt as genuine,” said Hinton, 17, of Louisburg. “At ECU, I felt like I wouldn’t be just a number, that they would help me grow as a person.”
Hinton will be one of 19 incoming freshmen entering ECU this fall as EC Scholars—the most prestigious academic scholarship program the university offers. She currently attends Louisburg High School.
Growing up in a small rural town, Hinton learned to apply herself academically and athletically over the years. She excelled in school, served as senior class president of the student government association and as a member of the National Honor Society and Science Olympiad. She also was named captain of the varsity softball and volleyball teams.
That connection to sports has called Hinton to delve deeper into her interest in medicine. The aspiring doctor and biology major uses her experiences playing sports to connect leadership and teamwork themes that she hopes to incorporate into a career, possibly in orthopedics or primary care. She wants to establish connections with her future patients, “being able to have conversations with people” in order to give them the best possible care.
Hinton is also an active voice for the welfare of people in all walks of life. She has volunteered for the Miracle League of Franklin County and the Franklin Regional Physical Therapy Center. During the summer before her junior year of high school, she helped her father, an art professor at Louisburg College, build a brick-and-concrete labyrinth as an artistic gift to the town.
Hinton doesn’t plan on losing any steam during the transition from high school to college. She is already exploring the Honors College’s unique programs that will help her learn and grow among her peers. “EC Scholars will provide a lot of opportunities,” she said, including a study-abroad experience she looks forward to taking advantage of.
She hopes to travel to central or South America to assess health-care needs and explore how language binds people to each other. “I like languages and how they connect people,” said Hinton, who hopes to minor in Spanish.
First, however, she’s looking forward to being around students, faculty and staff who will help her succeed as an EC Scholar by providing new perspectives and opening doors. “I really want to challenge myself and stay curious,” she said. “I’m looking forward to being around people who share the same drive and passion about solving problems and interacting with people.”
What she gains from others, she also wants to offer during her time at ECU. “I know I’m going to bring focus and commitment,” she said. “I’m really excited to move on to a new chapter of life.”
Over the summer, Hinton will work part time for the Town of Louisburg’s parks and recreation department, assisting with rec league baseball and softball and park upkeep.
She is the daughter of William and Patricia Hinton.
-- Spaine Stephens