As a native North Carolinian, I was surrounded and raised by individuals who found inherent value in a life spent in service to others. A grant provided through the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill created an opportunity for me to explore this ambition for 16 months prior to attending college. In assessing the effects of Romania’s transition to the EU on its orphaned citizens, while developing revenue streams and improving infrastructure of an Andean town in Peru, and through daily service to elderly residents in a Belizean long-term care facility, my commitment to service was reinforced. Furthermore, these travels piqued my interest in the differing rights and conceptions of citizenship internationally As a senior majoring in American History, I created and facilitated an honors course on the tenets of citizenship utilizing research gathered in a funded summer research project in India, Indonesia, and the United States. At the local level, I began working with talented scholars on the Southern Oral History Program as well as several tireless community leaders in Chapel Hill.
Upon graduation, as an employee of the Southern Oral History program, I helped establish an internship and taught weekly seminars to undergraduates. The internship and seminars focused on leveraging the power of historical information and analyses to effect progress on a variety of contemporary educational, environmental and social issues. These results led to a position as Associate Director of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center, an affordable housing and educational non-profit organization. With organizational, administrative and fund-raising responsibilities, I worked with others to strengthen the Northside neighborhood, a historically African-American community in Chapel Hill. The enormously demanding and fulfilling work at this center provided a challenge to explore the efficient and effective design and delivery of public services on a larger scale. With that objective, the return to school for an advanced degree in business will greatly serve to complement the knowledge and practical experience gained thus far.
When I was a kid, I used to read the thesaurus. While some might not find that to be a thrilling prospective endeavor, it is a symptom of my own abiding love for the written and spoken word. An avid writer and reader, short stories have always held particular appeal. In addition, I highly value time spent with family and friends, and especially enjoy team sports, hiking in the mountains, and salt-water fishing.