My success story begins with a year-long break from school, where I determined what I wanted to do with my life. During that break, I taught school children team-building skills as well as environmental education at the Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Center in Reidsville, North Carolina. I valued and practiced the hands-on method of instruction, so what better place to make my return to school than the Fish and Wildlife Management Technology program at Haywood Community College.
My education at HCC has been the most influential event in my life so far. Every day I get to experience hands-on learning that directly translates to the field of natural resources management. For the first time in my life I know exactly what I my goals are and how to accomplish those goals.
Although I have learned more at HCC than I ever thought possible, my education hasn't stopped with classroom learning. My instructors encouraged me to begin volunteering with local wildlife management professionals. I have devoted numerous hours to the study of the American kestrel, assisting North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission personnel with banding, nest box surveys, and data collection on this amazing species.
I have also developed leadership skills while serving as president of the HCC Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society. Through these experiences I have expanded my knowledge and abilities even further, gained real-world work experience, and have developed networks with possible future employers. I credit much of my success and love of learning to the tremendous experiences I have had as a student at Haywood Community College.