Name: Haley Bonds
High School Attended: Bear Grass Charter School
Home County: Martin County
College Attended/ Years Attended: North Carolina Wesleyan College (2017 – 2020)
Major: Elementary Education
County Now Living In: Martin County
Employer: Nash County Public Schools
Title: First Grade Teacher at Williford Elementary School
Years Working for Current Employer: Six months
What are some of your major accomplishments during college?
I was inducted into the Education Program my second year of college. Many teachers don’t get accepted into the program until their third year of college, but since I was already a junior by my second year of college, I was inducted earlier. My second year of college, I was also inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success. I was also on the President’s List each semester while attending Wesleyan.
What would you tell someone interested in applying for the Golden LEAF Scholarship about being a recipient?
I tell all seniors in high school to apply for this scholarship. The Golden LEAF Scholarship has given me so many opportunities. The Golden LEAF Scholarship will change your life and help you reach your dreams. The scholarship allowed me to attend the college that I wanted to attend. The scholarship also opened the door for me to attend a leadership program. It gave me the ability to become a better leader and the tools to become a better leader.
What helped you decide to live/ work in a rural area?
I have always lived in a rural area, and I did not want that to change. If you live in a rural area, you are more likely to have community support. The rural area that I always have lived in, and I still currently live in, has given me much support and is still supporting me. I did not want that to change for where I work. I work in a rural area in Rocky Mount. The school here has given me a community. They support me and help me whenever I need it. I will always work and live in a rural area because there is a lot of support and a sense of community.
What kind of leadership roles are you serving in currently?
I was awarded the First-Year teacher award for my school. I will go on to compete against other first year teachers in the district.
What would you like to share about your personal/ professional growth as a result of attending college?
Attending college helped me get out of my comfort zone. When I went into college, I did not want to talk in front of anybody. Throughout my college career, it made me branch out and know that I have a voice and I need to share my thoughts. College helped me get experience in many different classrooms and grade levels. It helped me see the diversity that is in the world and how things are different. It helped me become the teacher that I am today.
What did you learn during your experience with the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program?
My experience in the leadership program taught me many things about being a leader. It helped show me how to become a leader in my community.
What internship experiences did you have?
My internship experiences took place at elementary schools and afterschool/daycare, including the elementary school I attended. It allowed me to go back and observe great teachers who influenced me to become a teacher. It allowed me to see the teachers I had in elementary school as a mentor.
Did your experiences help shape your decision to live/ work in rural areas? If so, how?
My experiences in the leadership program helped me make the decision to stay in a rural area. I had work-based experiences in a rural area as an adult, and I did not want to leave it. The leadership program allowed me to work in my home community. I love having a little community inside the schools and outside of the schools.