Meet our incoming students: 3 of our new Transformational Scholars

It is part of a “Meet our incoming studentsseries in which the College of Education will feature some of its freshman, transfer, and graduate students who will be joining us this fall.

This fall, 16 students will join the inaugural cohort of the NC State College of Education Transformational Scholarship Program.

The Transformational Scholarship Program provides scholarships totaling $40,000 over four years to promising high school students in eastern North Carolina who will return to the area to teach after graduating from NC State College of Education. The program was made possible by a generous charitable grant from the Anonymous Trust.

Meet three of the Transformational Scholars who will join the NC State College of Education this fall, including this year’s Dianne Carver Lawing Scholarship recipient.

Fields of Jahzar

Wilmington, North Carolina

Teaching English, Language Arts, and Social Studies at the Middle Level

Hobbies and interests: Go to the gym, enjoy art and music, and watch football.

Why did you choose NC State University and NC State College of Education?

I chose NC State and their College of Education because I saw it as the most important help and support I needed to achieve my goals and dreams.

What does it mean to you to be named a Transformational Scholar?

[Transformational Scholarships Program director] Trisha Mackey was a major part of making me feel comfortable and proud to be a transformational seeker. At first it was amazing to have such a title and to be recognized for the work I want to put into the field, and now it feels like such an accomplishment and such a pleasure. I can’t help but thank the people who brought me here.

Receiving this scholarship reduces the financial burden I would have to carry to pay for my studies. To put it into perspective, I am a low income student and college didn’t seem to be in my future and probably wouldn’t be without scholarships and opportunities like this.

What impact do you hope to have on eastern North Carolina?

I want to become a teacher so that I can provide the highest quality of education needed by students who have unequal access to this high-level education, students, like me, who receive school funding based on their zip code, and students who do face burdens they neither chose nor wanted. The best way for me to make sure to the best of my abilities that students like this can get the most out of their education is for me to be there. Before I can give them my best, I have to gather and learn as much as I can for them and for myself.

How will receiving this scholarship impact your student experience?

I think the scholarship will have a positive impact on my student experience. It gives me a community of friends within the College of Education and it can make college more enjoyable.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I look forward to the social life of college, the independence and, of course, the new experiences.

What prompted you to become a teacher and choose education?

My teachers and mentors inspired me to become a teacher. The situations and experiences I have had have inspired me to become a teacher.

I chose education because I believe that for us as a people or a society to grow and improve, it must start with the generation behind us. They need to be well equipped for the task ahead of them and I want to help do that for them.

Meghan Larson

Fairmont, North Carolina

Science education

Hobbies and interests: Dance, camp ministry and work on my truck.

Why did you choose your major?

In high school, I had this amazing biology teacher who encouraged me a lot and made me love the subject.

Why did you choose NC State University and NC State College of Education?

I chose NC State because of a scholarship opportunity. I never thought about going to NC State, but the more I thought about it, the more it looked like my future home. The College of Education stood out for me with the program staff and statistics.

What does it mean to you to be named a Transformational Scholar?

To me, being a transformational scholar means a small-town girl can do anything she can think of. Receiving this scholarship has provided me with a way to empower myself and achieve my dreams. I can’t wait to show everyone that I can change the dynamics of education in eastern NC and the girl from Robeson County can do something amazing.

What impact do you hope to have on eastern North Carolina?

I want to work in low-income communities like the one I come from to give these students the opportunities I didn’t have as a kid. I want to bring new perspectives and ideas to schools that will bring teachers and students together. My ultimate goal is to become a principal and make my community enthusiastic about sending their children to my school.

How will receiving this scholarship impact your student experience?

Receiving this scholarship gives me the opportunity to attend NC State and get the education I worked for. Being a Transformational Seeker gives me the opportunity to study abroad and gain hands-on experience as a freshman. My team of academics are some of the best people I know, and I’m very honored to work with them and [Transformational Scholarships Program director] Trisha Mackey. I couldn’t be more excited.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I’m super excited to meet new people and start my career as a member of the Students Advocating for Youth (SAY) village. I come from a small community, so I’m also very excited to explore the city and experience campus life and all the new cultures.

What prompted you to become a teacher and choose education?

I always wanted to work in education. When I was graduating from kindergarten, I said I wanted to be principal when I grew up. When I was in high school, I had this amazing art teacher, Steven Taylor, who always encouraged me to never give up on my dreams and showed me everyday that it was worth teaching. I also started working at CBM Camp Grace, which is a summer camp in my hometown, when I was 14. Each year it reinforces my passion for working with children, and I enjoy every second of it.

Grace Liu

Greenville, North Carolina

Primary education

Hobbies and interests: Eating/cooking, listening to music, watching TV, social media, volunteering and art.

Why did you choose NC State University and NC State College of Education?

I chose NC State because it’s just a wonderful university overall, and it’s a place where I know I’ll be happy for the next four years of my life. I chose NC State College of Education because I always wanted to fulfill my childhood dream of becoming a teacher.

Why did you choose your major?

I always wanted to be a teacher and I love children. After volunteering and doing an internship with children and thinking about it, I decided that primary education would be the best fit for me.

What does it mean to you to be a transformational seeker?

It means a lot to me. Apart from the fact that the large amount of scholarships are so helpful, I am very happy and honored to be named a transformational scholar because it proves to me that I am capable of making a difference. It also means that my hard work paid off to be able to get into the program.

What impact do you hope to have on eastern North Carolina?

I hope to become a well-known and influential teacher in Eastern North Carolina.

What does it mean for you to receive the Dianne Carver Law Scholarship?

I am very grateful to have received the Dianne Carver Law scholarship, as it symbolizes the importance of first generation students who are majoring in education. It positively drives me to strive as a scholar, first-generation student, and education major.

How will receiving a scholarship impact your student experience?

It will ease my worries about having to pay so much for college. I will be able to focus more on my university studies and my life.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I look forward to making new friends and fun events at NC State that I have always wanted to attend.

What prompted you to become a teacher and choose education?

Since elementary school, my answer for “What do you want to be when you grow up?” was always: “A teacher.” I have always admired how teachers used the dry erase markers to write on the board, distribute papers, mark papers, stand in front of the room with a pointer, decorate their classroom, etc. I also used to have my younger brother play “pretend class” with me, and, of course, I acted as the teacher, and he was the student. When it came time to decide on a major for college, the only thing I could think about was teaching, so here I am.

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