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Jackson County Early College student receives Goodnight Scholarship

SYLVA – Even though Emma Budden has yet to receive her high school diploma from Jackson County Early College, she already has her entire higher education pathway planned out.

She’ll graduate from Southwestern Community College with an Associate in Science degree at the same time as she completes high school in May. After that, she will be attending NC State this fall to pursue a double major in Chemistry and Human Biology and then pursue an MD-PhD. 

Thanks to a significant scholarship award, her dreams recently got a huge boost.

After applying early this year, Emma was recently selected to receive the Goodnight Scholarship through NC State.

“I am so grateful for my family, friends, JCEC, and SCC. I would not be in the place I am today without their encouragement and support,” said Budden. “When I received the email, I was shocked. I am beyond humbled to have been selected as a Goodnight Scholar.”

The Goodnight Scholars Program was created in 2008, funded by Dr. Jim and Ann Goodnight. The scholarship is available for North Carolina students studying in STEM or STEM education programs. 

“Emma was chosen as one of only fifty students, out of the 850 who applied. With the program’s goal of empowering students to pay it forward, they could not have chosen a better candidate,” JCEC Liaison Pamela Judson said. “Emma is one of the most selfless students I have ever worked with and constantly strives to give the best of herself and lift others to their highest.”

The value of the scholarship is $21,000 and is renewable for up to four years.

In addition to the scholarship, the recipient will also have access to a variety of developmental programming focused on professional and personal growth.

Budden added: “Being invested into as a transformational leader in STEM truly is an honor. I am so excited to begin this next academic journey at NC State!”

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