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Monday, June 4, 2007

UNCP names its first Esther G. Maynor Scholar

A senior at North Moore High School is the first recipient of the Esther G. Maynor Scholarship at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Sara Pack

Sara Pack

Established by a gift from Maynor’s estate, the four-year scholarship pays for tuition and fees, books and room and board. Dr. Jesse Peters, dean of the Esther G. Maynor Honors College, made the announcement.

“I am very pleased to announce that after long and careful consideration of the numerous applications received by the Honors Council, the scholarship is awarded to Sara Pack,” Dr. Peters said. “Sara has already distinguished herself as a fine young scholar, and the Honors College is pleased that she has chosen to accept this scholarship and attend UNCP in the fall.

“The scholarship is designed to help outstanding scholars who also have a high level of financial need,” Dr. Peters said. “The Honors Council feels confident that the recipient, Sara Pack, is exactly the type of student the scholarship endowment was intended to benefit. I firmly believe that both UNC Pembroke and the Maynor Honors College will be proud to have Sara represent us as the first Maynor Scholar.”

Pack, who grew up in Highfalls, N.C., will graduate from high school ranked among the top five students in her class. In a telephone interview, she said she is thrilled to be coming to UNCP.

“I was very excited when I heard the news from Dean Peters about the scholarship,” Pack said. “I loved Pembroke ever since the first time I saw it during a visit in the seventh grade when I won a Young Authors poetry contest that year.”

Pack’s high school career is marked by academic achievement and service to her school and the community.

“I have been very involved in just about everything,” she said. “I’ve been very busy this spring in a play that my friends and I wrote.”

Pack said she did not join the Drama Club until her senior year, but ranks it as a highlight of her high school career. With a few fellow students, she wrote the script and the musical score for a play the club staged.

“I just really enjoyed the excitement of it-- and the humor,” she said. “Most of it was based around some sort of situational irony and all of the cast and crew are very close friends of mine, so we got along famously on stage and just had a great time.”

Pack also volunteered with the Yearbook, Key Club, Beta Club, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and Future Farmers of America (FFA).

One project defined her senior year, she said.

“We organized a rock-a-thon to raise money this year,” Pack said. “Altogether, we raised several thousand dollars for the family of a 3-year old with leukemia.

“This is a very small town, so it is a huge deal because it happened to someone we know,” she continued. “At Relay for Life, the mother spoke and the little girl is doing better.

“I firmly believe that it is critical to be involved in your community in a positive way if you expect constructive changes to be made,” Pack said.

Pack’s high school career had its share of accomplishments too. She won the state Beta Club creative writing contest and finished seventh in the nation.

“You never know what topic they will ask you to write on,” Pack said. “You go in there with a blank piece of paper and a prompt and try to do your best while staying ahead of the clock.”

Pack said she plans to major in English and is considering education, but she is sure that whatever academic course she takes, it will involve writing. The Maynor Scholarship is very important to her future, she wrote in her application.

“It is difficult to dream your entire life and be told that you are too poor to afford such lofty expectations,” she said. “I am resolved that I will be the first person in my entire extended family to graduate college due to my determination to reach my dream.

“Reality has a way of crushing dreams if you let it,” she said. The Maynor Honors College recognizes and promotes the scholarly and personal growth of outstanding students. Honors College students are provided interdisciplinary educational opportunities that enhance the general curriculum. These opportunities are developed around a learning community of outstanding students and include selected general education courses, small interdisciplinary seminars, cultural and service programs and shared residential facilities with other Honors students.

For more information about the Esther G. Maynor Honors College, please call 910.521.6841 or email honors@uncp.edu.

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