- Appalachian State University, 2007
- Bachelor of Science in History, Secondary Education
- Appalachian State University, 2009
- Masters of Arts: History
What clubs, sports or experiences were you involved in in college?
I was heavily involved in the Teaching Fellows Program at Appalachian State (now called ACES), the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Phi Alpha Theta (History Honors Society), and Kappa Delta Pi (Education Honors Society). As a History major, I got involved in the Society for Creative Anachronisms and was an avid hiker. I was involved in Outdoor Programs activities, intramural sports and worked with the Upward Bound program as a tutor and for two summers as a counselor. Being involved allowed me the chance to find my sense of belonging at Appalachian State. I found students who were interested in similar pursuits to myself so I could build my group. Involvement provided opportunities to both build upon what I was learning as a student and find time to just enjoy life.
Why should students in the Appalachian region consider pursuing postsecondary education?
Living in the mountains of Appalachia is truly a gift. I am thankful to call myself a native of these mountains and extremely grateful that I can continue to work in this region. Going to college opened doors for me to continue to live and work in the Appalachian region, doing work that I love. Attending college and obtaining a degree gives you a key to unlock doors you may have never knew existed. Beyond the degree, college offers you the chance to connect to other people; to learn from them and to teach them. Pursuing higher education is pursuing choice. You may even find careers and opportunities through postsecondary education that you never knew existed!
What is one piece of advice you might be able to offer a middle or high school student?
Invest in you! What I mean is to find your passions, find your strengths, find those things that challenge you. Pursue things that truly interest you. Take opportunities to challenge yourself and when things seem hard understand that you might struggle. Recognize that struggle doesn't mean that you're bad at something, it just means you're not good at it, yet. Embrace the power of the word, yet. Surround yourself with people who are invested in you and your success. Find people who are in your corner and have your back, they'll invest their time, energy, and focus in you. Consider how you would support your friends and how you do support your friends and think about how you can give some of that same support to yourself.