Name: Chelsea Thompson
High School Attended: KIPP Pride High School
Home County: Northampton
College(s) Attended/ Years Attended: UNC-Greensboro (2014-2016) transferred to ECU (2016-2019)
Major(s): Nutrition Science
County Now Living In: Halifax
Employer: KIPP Halifax Primary School
Title: Kindergarten Teacher
Years Working for Current Employer: 3 years
What does it mean to live and work in rural areas?
Rural communities consist of dedicated and passionate people who serve all types of individuals and families within the community. My rural community is growing and developing to accommodate the young children that are now coming up in this generation. I used to think rural meant less opportunities, but now I know it means to take advantage of the opportunities that they do have to make more opportunities and chances for others to take advantage of to continue to see that growth within the rural area.
What were some of your major accomplishments during college?
My major accomplishments during college were venturing outside of my shell to engage and learn within the college environment. I was ecstatic about how college opened doors for me to travel for a nutrition conference so I could speak with other professionals in my field of study. I also traveled by train to Washington, D.C., to participate in another conference about Campus Kitchens and how we can serve low-income families within the community.
What would you tell someone interested in applying for the Golden LEAF Scholarship about being a recipient?
I would tell them to take that chance even though they may have doubts and fears about not being accepted, but really put your all into it with your application.
What helped you decide to live and work in a rural area?
I had multiple factors that persuaded me to come work in a rural area. The biggest one was Teach for America and the mission to go into rural schools as a leader within the schools. This program ensures that children and families are receiving everything they need when it comes to education. I really wanted to come back to my hometown and to my school to teach since my school really shaped my thinking and helped me get to where I am today. I am currently leading my Kindergarten classroom and helping my team with making decisions on how we should best educate the kids that we serve.
What is your hope for rural North Carolina?
My hope for rural N.C. is to ensure that we see more opportunities such as programs that children of all ages can participate in that will beneficially impact their thinking and growth and get them involved within the community.
What did you learn during the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program?
I learned a lot about leadership qualities and what it takes to be an effective leader within your community. It also pushed me to come back and educate children that are in rural communities.
What internship experiences did you have with the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program?
I had a chance to come back to my hometown to work within the town hall. It taught me how to interact with all people ranging from young to old. I want to ensure that we serve all of the community.