PEMBROKE — Like most educators, Shelby Brock and India Jones, believe education is the key to success in life.
This shared philosophy is the driving force behind their pursuit of careers in education as students in the teacher-training program at UNC Pembroke. To ease the path to their goal, Brock and Jones were named the 2022 Hattie M. Strong Scholars — a $5,000 scholarship awarded to students during their internship semester.
“Being selected for this scholarship is life-changing,” Brock said. “It means the world to me. It has impacted my academic work greatly.”
Brock, a double major in elementary education (K-6) and psychology, will intern at Cameron Elementary School this fall.
Although driven from a young age to help others, it wasn’t until she taught her first mini-lesson in college that Brock fell in love with teaching.
“The lesson involved a counting number book for kindergarten,” she said. “When it clicked for the kids, it felt like a Goldilocks moment for me. At that moment, I knew I was in the right place … in a classroom where I can foster a positive learning environment.”
Jones, a senior elementary education and sociology concentration major, is doing her student teaching at Upchurch Elementary School. A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Jones discovered a passion for teaching while taking early childhood courses in high school.
“I love teaching! I love having that positive impact in students’ lives. I couldn’t see myself in another field,” Jones said.
Jones said she was thrilled when she received the email that she was selected for the scholarship.
“Being able to pay for tuition and take a little stress off my mom — that’s a great feeling. Instead of worrying about financial concerns, I was able to focus on preparing for my student internship,” Jones continued.