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Think and Do the Extraordinary

Extraordinary Opportunity: Rachel Cherry

portrait of Rachel Cherry
Rachel Cherry '22 is one of the first recipients of the Extraordinary Opportunity Scholarships.

Rachel Cherry ’22, from Lewiston Woodville, is one of the first 31 students from across campus to receive NC State’s Extraordinary Opportunity Scholarship, and she feels inspired to finish her junior year — and the rest of her college experience — stronger than ever.

When Cherry came to NC State, all she knew was that she wanted to attend a good school close to home, a decision that has been beneficial during COVID-19 because it allowed her to safely take her classes remotely. NC State’s reputation preceded itself, and when she received her acceptance letter, she couldn’t wait to begin her college journey.

Cherry has taken campus by storm — she is in Pi Beta Phi and Finance Club and recently joined the NC State Chapter of the Public Relations Student Association of America. And this semester, she is running for treasurer of Sailing Club. Her extracurriculars reflect her greatest interests and continue to build on what she learns in the classroom: service, finance and communications.

She also worked as a tutor at NC State and was balancing a second off-campus job. While her supervisors in the tutoring center were considerate about her school schedule, Cherry said any time that a student is balancing multiple jobs, committing to extracurriculars and taking a full course-load, it can be extremely stressful.

The Extraordinary Opportunity Scholarship came as a complete surprise. The first thought I had was that I wanted to do even better this semester.

“To me, the Extraordinary Opportunity Scholarship feels like a miracle. It brought relief to a situation where I put in a lot of effort, and when I didn’t quite think I would make it, someone stepped in and helped me,” Cherry said. “I would love for the scholarship to expand and help even more students like me.”

Not one to take things easy, when Cherry received her scholarship she kicked it into high gear.

She recently declared a business major, excited to apply the knowledge she gained in previous communications coursework to her other interests. Armed with a passion for writing, an enthusiasm for connecting with people and a curiosity for both politics and finance, Cherry has been exploring career paths where could thrive and make a difference by inspiring the masses. Boasting nearly 100 majors, NC State was the perfect place for her to take coursework across different fields.

“The Extraordinary Opportunity Scholarship came as a complete surprise. I am so grateful,” she said. “The first thought I had was that I wanted to do even better this semester. Help like this … it encourages me to work harder.”

She is currently searching for summer internships to get hands-on communications experience within the business profession. She was also able to find a new position as an office assistant with Rural Forward, an organization that supports health leadership in rural communities. Now, with scholarship support, Cherry can focus on one job, and has the time and flexibility to explore all her options and discover where her future lies.

This is exactly what the Extraordinary Opportunity Scholarship Initiative, established in February 2020 as part of the Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign, aims to do — create opportunity for hard-working students, ensuring that all of them have access to the tools and experiences they need to make a difference in this world.

When asked what she would say to donors considering a gift to initiatives like EOSI, Cherry said, “Your money is not being wasted. Students really need your support, and every dollar inspires greater dedication. And go Pack!”

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