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Local Student Kris Terry Uses STEM Experience to Earn Acceptance to North Carolina A&T

Kris Terry was recently accepted to NC A&T to study computer engineering.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Epps.

ROCKINGHAM – Insatiable curiosity, character, colorful, full of energy. These phrases all have one thing in common; they define Kris Terry.

Terry is a senior at Richmond Senior High School who is also participating in dual-enrollment classes in conjunction with Richmond Community College. He has already accomplished many amazing things at such a young age, his most recent accomplishment is getting accepted into North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University.

While other students are also receiving their acceptance letters, what is amazing about Terry’s acceptance is the merit on which it is coming.

When Terry was in elementary school, he always had a growing curiosity about many things. Chad Osborne went as far as to describe his curiosity as “insatiable.” According to his grandmother, Claudia Wall, Terry always loved Legos, games, and robots. He even attended a biology course at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. His interests never died, instead he went on to discover and explore even further.

Jeff Epps, Network Systems Engineer at RCC, started a STEM program while Terry was a student at Rockingham Middle School. Terry, a seventh grader at the time, was one of the original four who signed up for the program during an incentive and enrichment period, and one of only three who stuck with it.

“Kris taught us (Epps and Osborne) how to teach him,” Epps explained. “He was always colorful and full of energy.”

Osborne, partner with Epps at the GREAT Academy, stated that in class and throughout the program it almost, “encouraged Kris when something didn’t work or something challenged him. He will always do twice what you ask of him.”

Terry’s craving for information was never satisfied, so once a month since his seventh-grade year, he has continued to work closely with Epps and Osborne through the GREAT Academy that has grown so large there is now a waiting list.

While many middle school and high school students may think that school on a Saturday is already too much, Terry continued to search out opportunities that would allow him to grow within the technology field. He was one of three students from Richmond County who attended the AGORA program at Fayetteville State. He logged 256 technology hours taking a college course, and placed in second in a Hackathon against students from Cumberland County.


Another impressive feat is something that Epps believed sealed the deal with Kris’s future at NC A & T. He recently participated in a Research Internship at his future school of choice.

“Kris looked at everyone there and said ‘watch what I can do,’” joked Epps. “The goal of the internship was that each student had to create a prototype. Kris came up with a great idea of developing a model and having it 3D printed to have a real prototype. While the professors and other students didn’t believe it would be possible for him to have it in time, Kris knew he had it in the bag. He was right.”

Since his seventh-grade year, Terry has accumulated about 600 hours in STEM activity, and is still beyond excited to immerse himself deeper within the content in college.

“It feels great to be able to pursue new opportunities and to continue doing something that I love,” Terry explained. “I have met so many amazing people through this process, and I am going on to do all that is necessary to keep doing what I love.”

When talking to his grandmother, one can tell that she is over the moon about his acceptance and the great things he is going on to do. Wall stated that she is grateful for Epps and Osborne because they, “had a way of creating desire.”

Wall continued by saying that it takes a lot to help young ones these days pursue something great for themselves. Sometimes guardians have to put their foot down and say “try this.”

Wall went on to explain that Kris was and is so blessed by the people who surround and encourage him on his path to becoming a computer engineer

“You know the saying ‘it takes a village,’” she asked. “Well, Kris had a village and we are all so proud.”

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