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Meet Our Incoming Students: Goodnight Scholars Alondra Badillo-Reyes, Bethany Lee Join New Class of Undergraduate Students

Meet Our Incoming Students

This is part of a “Meet Our Incoming Students” series in which the College of Education introduces some of its first-year, transfer and graduate students who will join us this fall.

The NC State College of Education will welcome an expected197 first-year and external transfer students for the Fall 2021 semester. Of these incoming undergraduate students, nine of them will be part of the Goodnight Scholars Program.

The Goodnight Scholars Program, established in 2008 by NC State alumni Jim and Ann Goodnight, provides North Carolina residents from low- and middle-income families interested in studying science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) or STEM education with a scholarship valued at $21,000. The scholarships are renewable for up to four years for first-year students and up to three years for transfer students.

The incoming Goodnight Scholars joining the College of Education are nine of the 75 students who will make up the Goodnight Scholars Program’s Class of 2025 and Transfer Class of 2024.  It’s the highest number of College of Education students ever in an incoming class of Goodnight Scholars. Meet two of the incoming Goodnight Scholars joining the College of Education below. 

Alondra Badillo-Reyes

Sanford, North Carolina

Elementary Education

Hobbies and Interests: I love to hike, swim, travel and learn about new cultures.

Why did you choose NC State University and the NC State College of Education?

The reason I choose NC State University is because of the opportunities it has to offer for its students, the diversity and because of Pullen Park. The reason I chose the NC State College of Education is because of the wonderful program they offer. Also, because of how early students are placed into the field and gain experience very early. Another reason is because of the ESL licensure add-on, which is something I was interested in, and am going to do.

Why did you choose your major?

The reason I chose elementary education was because I love kids, and I always knew I wanted to do something with younger children. I chose elementary education because it is the foundation of learning — it’s where you instill students’ love for learning.

What does it mean for you to be a Goodnight Scholar? 

I felt honored and relieved to be selected for the Goodnight Scholars Program, as it is a comprehensive student development program that also offers financial relief. Words could never express how truly grateful I feel for this opportunity I was given. I am looking forward to the different leadership opportunities the program has to offer and hopefully to making new friends!

What are you most excited about this year?

I am a transfer student from Central Carolina Community College, and this is my first year at NC State. I am looking forward to the new environment I will be living in and the different opportunities I will indulge in this year!

What inspired you to become a teacher and choose education? 

I decided to become a teacher because I wanted to promote equality in the classroom — making sure every student values themselves and knows they have potential. Also, because I simply love kids, I love seeing them smile and have fun. I chose education because I want to help promote healthy relationships with learning, to teach students to love to learn. I also want to guide them along their way to success. Being a teacher is a privilege — one I look forward to. 

Bethany Lee

Louisburg, North Carolina

Double Major in Science Education and Chemistry

Hobbies and Interests: I love sewing, thrifting, taking care of my houseplants and learning about how I can live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Why did you choose the NC State University and the NC State College of Education?

I chose NC State because I attended a summer program a couple of years ago and fell in love with the people I met and the campus. I also like that it’s close to my home. As I was doing my college applications, I knew NC State had really stellar STEM education programs. However, what really did it for me was meeting some of the College of Education staff, advisors and students during Zoom events such as the live College of Education showcase and the Teaching Fellows interest meeting. Everyone was so kind, and you could tell they cared about you as a student.

Why did you choose your major?

I had a really great chemistry teacher my second-to-last year of high school. She was the one who inspired me to finally land on going to college for teaching chemistry.

What does it mean for you to be a Goodnight Scholar? 

It honestly still feels surreal that I was selected as a Goodnight Scholar. I am so grateful because it’s given me the opportunity to go to college this year. Otherwise, I would’ve had to take at least one gap year to save up. I’m excited for a lot of opportunities associated with the Goodnight Scholars Program, but I’m really looking forward to all of the networking, service and leadership opportunities.

What are you looking forward to this year? 

I’m most looking forward to meeting new friends and making memories during this chapter of my life!

What inspired you to become a teacher and choose education? 

Throughout middle and high school, I changed my mind a lot about what I wanted to do as a career, but I always kept coming back to the idea of being a teacher. I’ve had some really amazing teachers, and I want to be able to give back in the same way. I chose education because every student deserves someone at their school to believe in them and push them to be the best version of themselves that they can be.

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