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Aspiring educators benefit from Hattie M. Strong Scholarship

Samantha Hardison
Samantha Hardison

The daily commute from Pembroke to Fayetteville where Samantha Hardison is completing her student teaching can get costly.

This semester, the UNCP senior is getting relief at the tank thanks to the Hattie M. Strong Scholarship.

“With this scholarship, I no longer have to worry about if I will have enough money to travel to my school,” said Hardison, a music education major. “With this burden removed, I feel that I am better able to serve my students and I will forever be grateful for it.”

Hardison, a Warsaw native, is teaching band to sixth, seventh and eighth graders at Pine Forest Middle School.

She is one of four 2019 Hattie Strong scholars from UNCP. The others are April Maynor, Kimberly Fuqua and Macy Creech. They were each awarded $5,000 to be used in their final year of study.

The Hattie M. Strong Scholars program is aimed at college students enrolled in teacher-training programs at selected partnering institutions. 

Creech is majoring in K-6 elementary education with a reading concentration. She is teaching in her hometown of Fayetteville at E. Melvin Honeycutt Elementary.

“I absolutely love everything about it,” Creech said of her classroom experience. “The Hattie M. Strong Scholarship will not only impact my life, but the students in my future classroom. This scholarship will help fund the resources I need in my classroom. A few resources that I would love to see develop in my classroom are STEAM building centers, flexible seating areas throughout the classroom and storage drawers for each table.”

The scholarship has eased the financial burden for April Maynor of Lumberton who is on an educational leave from her job.

“Being a mother and full-time student is very difficult. Thankfully with this scholarship I have been assured all my family’s needs are met.”

Maynor is an elementary education major with a concentration in special education. She is completing her student teaching at Tanglewood Elementary. After graduation, she plans to remain at UNCP and enroll in the master’s program in elementary education.

Fuqua, also from Lumberton and majoring in special education, is interning at Fairgrove Middle. She said she used some of her funds to pay her rent. She used the rest to fund two study abroad trips.

“Being a mother and taking care of my mother is not an easy task, especially while being a full-time student,” she said. “I am so glad I do not have the burden of working because the internship semester is quite tough. I intend to take what I have learned here at UNCP with me for the rest of my educational journey to help facilitate learning for a lifetime in classrooms around the world.”

After UNCP, Fuqua plans to enroll in the public administration graduate program at Cornell University. She wants to work overseas for the Department of Defense in the area of public education policy.

Hardison plans to continue teaching middle school band after graduation. She eventually wants to return to school and seek a master’s degree in either music therapy or music education.