Scholarship, leadership, service, and character. These are the four pillars of the Park Scholarships program and is the foundation of our scholars’ experience at NC State. Students are encouraged to build upon these areas by exploring their inner desires and the world around them.
Through Park Scholarships funding and guidance, Sam Shain ’19 has taken full advantage of this ideal. He has studied abroad in Germany, participated in a sustainable business strategy course at Harvard, took a gap semester to practice mindfulness and meditation in Oregon, engaged in wildlife rehabilitation efforts in South Africa, and interned as a corporate innovation apprentice in Singapore. Unaffiliated with the program, he also spent this past summer in Panama with Amigos de las Américas.
Yet Shain also narrows his focus as an active participant on campus and in the program. Within Park Scholarships alone, he is co-founder and former president of the Park Philanthropy Council, assists on the Social and Senior Gala Committee, has been a facilitator for Civic Engagement Initiatives, serves on the Diversity Student Task Force, was donor relations manager and a logistics member for the Krispy Kreme Challenge, and is Service Raleigh Community Involvement co-chair. Another, which stands out prominently for Shain, was serving as facilitator for a mindfulness and meditation activity during Senior Retreat. Shain notes, “Sharing my message in front of the entire class was simultaneously humbling and terrifying. Through this experience, I realized how much additional potential I had stored within, just waiting to be explored if I followed my own guidance more frequently. This opportunity has propelled me to an unprecedented level of focus and commitment to my goals.”
Of all his experiences, Shain says, “Park Scholarships made the world my oyster; I was able to travel the globe, both literally and metaphorically, in ways I could’ve never imagined… Because of Park, I have had the privilege of taking courses that intrigue me and challenge my perception of the world, not just those that are practical for my career and appeal to employers. I was given permission to ask myself what I truly wanted from undergrad and what long-lasting objective I intend on bringing to fruition. It’s difficult to express how grateful I am for this perk the program offers. Over the years, many of my friends outside of the program have been unable to partake in the extracurriculars or internships they wanted to due to the financial burden tuition and fees foisted upon them. Receiving financial support has minimized a stress factor that’s immense for most young adults and has allowed me to dedicate myself wholeheartedly to personal and professional areas that spark my passion.”