School: Fayetteville State University
Bio: I am Amber Cousin Hargrove from Henderson, NC (Vance County). I am majoring in elementary education and minoring in psychology. Growing up in rural North Carolina, I always knew that I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. Up until my second year as a Golden LEAF scholar, I was unsure of how I could successfully complete this goal. At a conference, during the panel with the year four scholars I realized my passion for education and how I could make a difference by simply teaching. The Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program has changed my life in numerous ways. I have met lifelong friends and learned how to network successfully. I have also broken out of my shell and learned to embrace my leadership qualities by putting them to use. Being a part of Golden LEAF has given me opportunities to grow as a student and a leader, but also to make a difference.
School: Campbell University
Bio: Growing up in a small town, Elizabeth City, NC of Pasquotank County, I’ve fallen in love with the small town environment, which is why I am attending Campbell University. I am currently studying Kinesiology Pre-Med with Biology, Chemistry, and Honors Interdisciplinary as my minors, while in hopes of becoming an Optometrist in the future. The main reason that interests me in becoming a member of the Leadership Advisory Council is because I want to make difference. I want be more involved with the community, along with the program because I felt like I did not get to know the other scholars that well. I believe that building relationships with others is significant because you will never know who you will work with in the future. Without the program, I wouldn’t able to handle conflicts as well as I do now, or be able to raise my voice in a crowd. The program had given me opportunities to have different internships that help me in the processing of pursuing my career, which inspired to come back to the rural community in the future. The staff always has an open arm for me to come to and always there when I needed help. Overall, the Golden LEAF Scholarship Program has a special place in my heart and there are no doubts that other scholars feel the same way.
School: East Carolina University
Bio: As a first-generation college student, attending a four-year university was a dream of mine. That dream came true, as I am now in my junior year at East Carolina University, studying accounting. Growing up in a small town, I felt that college would be a difficult adjustment. Golden LEAF made that adjustment a little bit easier for me, as well as added to the appreciation I have for my hometown in Perquimans County. When I first joined the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program, I had no idea what to expect. In spite of my lack of expectation, the program went above and beyond what I originally thought and allowed me to gain valuable experience/skills, career opportunities, and a network of friends at various universities. I would not trade my time working with the Golden LEAF Foundation and the Center for Creative Leadership, and can’t wait to positively impact the organization on the Leadership Advisory Council this year.
School: UNC Pembroke
Bio: My name is Juwan Lockhart, from the small town of Hamlet, NC. I am a junior at UNC Pembroke and currently a major in Art with a concentration in Digital Art. Over the past three or four years, I have been afforded the opportunity to serve in leadership roles in my community as well as under my church in our music and youth department. Over the past 3 years, The Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program has made a huge impact on my leadership journey and has influenced me to go and make a difference in my rural community. While being in the program I’ve been able to step out and host many programs and events to impact lives in counties such as Richmond, Lee and Anson County. This program has been a great influence in my life personally. It has allowed me to grow and face the fears of stepping out and being a leader in my community. Through this program, I’ve been inspired to chase my dreams and accomplish many goals and dreams.
School: Winston-Salem State University
Bio: I am ShaTonya Howell, a Sophomore at Winston-Salem State University. I am currently a Healthcare Management major with a minor in Information Systems. I was raised in the small town of Tarboro, NC in Edgecombe County where not many people are able to have this opportunity, and I am honored. Being a first-generation college student and experiencing my first year as a Golden LEAF Scholar, I am looking forward to the upcoming year. Golden LEAF has taught me great innovative skills throughout my first-year journey, the ability to step out of my comfort zone and to develop more as a leader. After my first internship, I knew that going back to help with my rural county was my passion. Being able to see what the problems were and how I could be a big help to my community drove me to become more active. All of this was because of the Golden LEAF Foundation, being apart of this organization not only opened new doors for me but it also broadens my mind on how I can help my rural county. My school motto says, "Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve" and I plan on doing just that.
School: UNC Chapel Hill
Bio: I am Mya Walker and I am from Thomasville, NC. I am a sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill currently studying sociology on the pre-law track with a minor in social economic justice. I serve as a Pre-College Mentor with Upward Bound, a mentor with Queen In You, a Co-Chair on the Elections Committee through the Black Student Movement, and a Shift Leader with Carolina Cupboard. When I first learned about the Golden LEAF Scholarship, I knew it would not only help me financially but personally and professionally as well. The Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program allows me to gain insight and understanding about the impact I can have on rural counties in North Carolina through internships and service projects. As a member of this program I have developed the skills to become an effective leader, built lasting friendships with other scholars, and created a vision of how I will give back to my community.
School: UNC Asheville
Bio: My name is Jackson Whitmire, and I am a current sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. While growing up in Transylvania County it was common to see people traveling for multiple hours for good healthcare, so my passion to serve rural North Carolina and to one day provide quality healthcare to the area in which I grew up. I am studying pre-medicine and psychology, and I intend on attending medical school after I graduate. The Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership program provided me with the amazing opportunity to work with a local Pediatricians office in my home county and has allowed me to meet many people with similar aspirations at conferences. I always wanted to stay close to home after I graduated, but I always heard that to find a “good job” I would have to move far away to a bigger city, but meeting so many people with the same dream (and who are actively living it) has given me the roadmap to working in my home county when I graduate. I believe that the work Golden LEAF is doing for the rural part of North Carolina is invaluable, which is why I am so very grateful to be working on the Leadership Advisory Council this year!