Spotlight on Graduation Tiffany Johnson
Name: Tiffany Johnson
Majors: political science with a concentration in law and justice, and communication with a concentration in mass media, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Scholarships: Shelton Leadership/Kimberly Jessup Scholarship, Robert J. Pleasants Scholarship
What’s next: My plan is to obtain a postgraduate internship within the field of communication. I have an interest in public service, communication and sports. Those three things make me the happiest, and in my lifetime I would like to do what makes me happy and encourage others to do the same.
Why NC State? The driving force behind my decision to attend NC State was my participation in the General H. Hugh Shelton Challenge. The weeklong challenge was created to help high school scholars develop leadership skills. It focuses on the cornerstones of honesty, integrity, diversity, social responsibility and compassion. I realized how much everyone in the program, which is based at NC State, wanted to see me grow as a leader and become a better person. That was enough for me to try to become a member of the Wolfpack! Notification of acceptance arrived at my house on my 18th birthday and the decision was a no brainer. I knew it was meant to be.
What has been special about NC State? The real question is … what has not been special? Looking back to when I was a freshman, I have truly grown from a teenager to a young woman. This school has so many resources and opportunities available to help turn its students into the leaders of tomorrow. One of the most memorable experiences I had was becoming “Dean for a Day” in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in February 2014, when I switched places with Dean Jeffery Braden. How many students get the opportunity to be large and in charge in that way? Not many.
How have your scholarships made an impact? When notified that I was granted the Robert J. Pleasants Scholarship in April 2014, I was ecstatic! This scholarship [goes] to students majoring in political science with a concentration in law and justice, and I just remember feeling thankful that someone believed in me enough to want to play a role in me achieving my dreams. Upon notification that August that I received the General Hugh Shelton/Kimberly Jessup Scholarship, I was even more thrilled. I was told that I should be proud of my accomplishment, as competition was intense and the selection was made from a pool of extremely qualified applicants. Surely, I was proud not only to represent General Shelton as one of his scholars, but to be named the inaugural scholar of the scholarship. I was glad to learn the legacy of Kimberly Jessup and represent her name with pride. She was a communication graduate of NC State, and went on to work for companies like ESPN and NASCAR. Realizing that those goals were possible led me to become a part of ESPNU Campus Connection and gain a glimpse into what my future could hold.
Both scholarships have helped to make my senior year incredible. I had an internship this academic year, in the advancement of my career. In retrospect, some students are not able to have internships or do not have the time to be a volunteer—not because they do not want to, but because they are obligated to work and pay bills to gain their degree. These scholarships helped me to have fewer worries and more time to become involved on campus in organizations intended to prepare me for my career path.
I would like to tell donors . . . that, as Jackie Robinson said, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” A little bit can go a long way and you never really know how much that little bit will mean to someone. My father passed away when I was 17, so going into college I knew I would not have financial support from two parents. However, with the help of my wonderful mother and the grace of my scholarship donors, I was able to achieve my goal of graduating with two degrees in four years.