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Freshmen Meet: Four Newest Goodnight Scholars

this is”meet new studentsis a series that introduces new students, transfer students, and graduate students of the Faculty of Education who will enter this fall.

Four new students entering North Carolina State University of Education this fall will be part of the 2026 class of the Goodnight Scholars program.

Founded in 2008 by North Carolina alumni Jim Goodnight and Anne Goodnight, the Goodnight Scholarships Program is an opportunity for North Carolina low-income students interested in studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) or STEM education. It offers scholarships to income and middle-income residents. Worth $22,000. Scholars arriving as freshmen receive scholarships for four years, and scholars arriving as transfer students receive scholarships for up to three years.

Meet the four Goodnight Scholars who will be entering the North Carolina State University of Education this fall.

Kimmy Tomzuk

Raleigh, North Carolina

science education

Hobbies and Interests: Playing musical instruments, making sweets, knitting, planning parties.

What made you choose North Carolina State University and North Carolina State University of Education?

I love being close to home and being able to learn how to teach where my favorite teacher learned. It makes me feel connected to those who have helped me.

Why did you choose your major?

I want to give back to my community and I want to give back to the support given by my teachers.

What does it mean to be a Goodnight Scholar?

Being a Goodnight Scholar means I am someone who can be a productive member of society and a leader for future generations in my community.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I’m so excited for all the fun extracurricular activities — yay band!

What inspired you to become a teacher and choose education?

I learned from all my teachers and was given a safe place to grow as a person. I want to be the reason people are excited to learn something new and be the guide to help future generations discover their true passions.

Kate Hamilton

Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Primary Education

Hobbies and Interests: I enjoy spending time with friends and family, going to the beach and trying new things. I also enjoy traveling and experiencing different cultures.

What made you choose North Carolina State University and North Carolina State University of Education?

After looking at various colleges, I wanted one that met all my needs, and North Carolina State University covered it all. I was looking for a new atmosphere with diversity, a place where I could grow and discover new things. North Carolina felt like the perfect new home. Another big factor was the educational program. North Carolina State University offers excellent educational programs and I look forward to being part of the educational community.

Why did you choose your major?

I have always had a passion for working with children. Ever since I was little, I wanted to be a teacher, so I started attending classes and programs that allowed me to work with children.

What does it mean to be a Goodnight Scholar?

I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in the program as a Goodnight Scholar. I feel I have the opportunity to grow and become a community leader. I am excited about what lies ahead and all that I can learn as a Goodnight Scholar.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I am really looking forward to meeting new people and exploring Raleigh. Excited to be in a city with so much to do.

What inspired you to become a teacher and choose education?

The teachers who have supported me over the years and pushed me to be the best version of myself were the reasons I really wanted to be an educator. I hope that I can inspire others and help them learn what they want to do in life.

Madison Purium

Clayton, North Carolina

mathematics education

Hobbies and Interests: Playing and coaching volleyball, tennis, puzzles, and drawing.

What made you choose North Carolina State University and North Carolina State University of Education?

My dad is a graduate of North Carolina State University and I’ve always been a Wolfpack fan. When it came time to apply to college, I knew North Carolina had to be on my list. However, I wasn’t sure if it would suit me academically. But that all changed after a virtual information session with the North Carolina State University of Education in my junior year. I fell in love with the college community. I fell in love with the way even a university this big allowed me to experience the personal relationships and connections that I had at a smaller university. Also, knowing that North Carolina State University produces the largest number of STEM educators in North Carolina, she was confident that she would get the best education for her career.

Why did you choose your major?

I chose junior high school mathematics education because of my experience in junior high school. I realized that middle school is the time to think about who you are and what kind of student you want to be. It was really heartbreaking to see so many of my classmates giving up on the idea that they were capable just because their teacher gave up. I want to go to class and inspire my students to be the best versions of themselves and to know that I always believe in them. I would like to remove that prejudice and show how much depth and fun there is in the subject.

What does it mean to be a Goodnight Scholar?

Being a Goodnight Scholar means everything to me. I still can’t believe I was selected to be part of such an amazing and diverse program.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

This year, I am most excited to fully immerse myself in the freshman experience and take advantage of all the opportunities North Carolina State University has to offer.

What inspired you to become a teacher and choose education?

There have been two great inspirations in my life when it comes to choosing a career. mother and father. My mother is a high school teacher and it inspired me to see the impact her mother had on her students and her love for her classroom. My dad is his 50+ year retired pastor and his leadership and connection to his congregation is something I will always admire and strive to achieve in my career.

Rebecca Hope Sharp

Fuquay Varina, North Carolina

Primary Education

Hobbies and Interests: Sing, play guitar, read, spend time with Jesus, stay active, play volleyball.

What made you choose North Carolina State University and North Carolina State University of Education?

I love the community within the College of Education and as a teacher teaching at North Carolina State University, I feel that I am best equipped! I also look forward to the opportunities the Goodnight Scholars Program community has to offer. to

Why did you choose your major?

I love working with young children and believe that teaching basic educational principles can shape their entire future. Would like to have!

What does it mean to be a Goodnight Scholar?

It is a great honor for me to be a Goodnight Scholar. I have been selected to be part of a community full of people who want to change the world and are ready to learn how to do it. Becoming a Goodnight Scholar means being a great teacher and having the best community, opportunities, and resources to make a difference in the world.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I am most excited to meet new people with whom I can grow and learn! I know my peers have incredibly diverse backgrounds and experiences. Getting to know them is very special.

What inspired you to become a teacher and choose education?

Ever since I was little, I knew from the first grade that I loved school and I loved learning. This love of learning has made me excited about life and has greatly changed my future course. I hope to inspire other children to do the same so that they love learning and believe in their own future.