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Meet Mackenzie Hunt ‘20: My Goal is to Work with Students Experiencing Poverty to Help Them be Better Prepared for the Future

Without scholarship support, Mackenzie Hunt ’20 wouldn’t have been able to attend the NC State College of Education. But as a STEM Education Research Fellow and recipient of the Dean’s Leadership and P.H. Cooper scholarships, she’s now earning her Bachelor of Science in applied education studies.

As a student, she had opportunities to work in the Student Success and Advising Center and lead a discussion about the experiences of Native American students in K-12 classrooms. Now, she plans to teach in Robeson County, where she grew up, and create a brighter future for students who are experiencing poverty.

Learn more about Mackenzie Hunt

Hometown: Red Springs, North Carolina

Area of Study: Applied Education Studies

Activities/Interests: SAY Village, Native American Student Association

Why did you choose the NC State College of Education?

I chose the NC State College of Education because of the support I got from the beginning. I always felt supported and important to the people leading the college.

Why did you choose your area of study?

I chose my area of study because of the broadness of the degree. With my degree, I have the potential to go into a variety of fields.

How has scholarship support impacted you?

Without scholarships, I would not have been able to come to NC State. Coming from the poorest county in the state, coming to NC State would not have been possible for me without generous scholarship programs. I was able to graduate with minimal debt and am very grateful for the opportunity.

What do you hope to accomplish in your field after graduation? 

I hope that I am able to help students in poverty realize their potential and strengths.

What’s your next step? What do you have planned after graduation? 

After graduation, I will be teaching fifth grade in Lumberton, North Carolina.

How has the College of Education prepared you for that next step? 

The College of Education prepared me by providing many opportunities to be involved and learn alongside educators.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time in the College of Education? 

My favorite memory from the College of Education was leading the program “Native Voices,” when I was able to lead a discussion about the experiences of Native American students in K-12 classrooms.

Tell us about an experience you had with the College of Education that had the biggest impact on you or your career. 

The experience that had the biggest impact on me was working in the Student Success and Advising Center for four years. During this time, I was able to lead programs, help students become prepared for experiences and had a great support system. Working at Student Success and Advising Center was the most influential experience I had in college.

Why did you choose education? 

I chose education because I have seen how poverty can directly impact a child’s education. My goal is to work with students experiencing poverty to help them be better prepared for the future.