Name: Serenity Baxter
Home County: Randolph
High School Attended: Uwharrie Charter Academy
College Attended: UNC-Greensboro (2017-2021)
Major: Community Therapeutic Recreation
Current County: Davie
Employer: Salemtowne Retirement Community
Title: Activity Assistant
Years Working for Current Employer: 2 months
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What were some of your major accomplishments during college?
I was on the Dean’s or Chancellor’s list each semester. I also managed to work while attending college, graduated debt free, and paid off my car during college. I also attended graduate school. Along with other Camp Kearns members, we raised 40 thousand dollars for the summer camp where I was a camp counselor.
What would you tell someone interested in applying for the Golden LEAF Scholarship about being a recipient?
You will never regret the opportunities! Take all the program has to offer and make connections!
What helped you decide to live/ work in a rural area?
I want to provide opportunities for the younger generation to use in their lives and make connections. I have a leadership coaching position with the Center for Creative Leadership and the Golden LEAF Foundation that allows me to showcase my leadership foundational skills. This position allows me to build relationships and coach our younger generation by providing encouragement, connections, and a foundation in life.
What did you learn during your experience?
During my internships I learned I love working with people and teaching them skills to achieve their goals. While engaging with staff, coworkers and residents I was able to build confidence, gain knowledge and experience in teaching and planning activities. Attending leadership training I learned that understanding and showing empathy and skills to work towards solving our own problems.
What internship experiences did you have?
I interned this past summer at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in the Behavioral Health Unit. While interning I worked with adults ages 18 and plus that struggled with mental health and addictions. I would teach a lesson on self-worth, teamwork, depression, coping, communication, and living with mental health issues; then I would provide directions on an activity or worksheet to complete them as a group we would discuss the topic. During this time I learned how to best serve my community, the people, learning new diagnosis and how to provide my clients with opportunities.
What does rural mean to you?
Rural is learning to pave the future. My rural community is providing opportunities. I used to think rural meant old and uneducated, but now I know it means undergoing learning curves to provide resources.