Each month, the Goodnight Scholars Program highlights a select number of current Goodnight Scholars who represent the program’s highly diverse and involved student cohort. This month, the spotlight focuses on former valedictorian of Cross Creek Early College High School, Dominique Weatherspoon ’19.
Goodnight Scholars Program: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Dominique Weatherspoon: I’ve lived in Fayetteville, NC long enough to say I’m from there, but years ago I moved from state to state as a military brat. I was raised by my mother along with my two older sisters. I went to Cross Creek Early College High School in Fayetteville and graduated as valedictorian. I developed a knack for mathematics and decided to further my education at NC State. While I was at Cross Creek, I decided to major in mathematics. I am continuing that path here, but also exploring ways in which I can connect my major to my passion for the environment. For now, I have not declared a minor but we’ll see what the future may bring.
Talk about some of your greatest accomplishments thus far at NC State or previously in high school.
As a freshman on campus, I have been so busy adjusting to the changes that I have not had time to dive into all that NC State has to offer. I have, however, been accepted as a team member for the Goodnight Scholar’s Alternative Service Break (ASB) trip to Trinidad and Tobago. Over spring break, we will be visiting Trinidad and Tobago to volunteer at the Asa Wright Nature Centre. I am very excited to travel abroad and gain hands-on experience with my passion for the environment. Besides ASB, I am also looking forward to applying for summer internships. In high school, I was president of the charity knitting club and a member of Interact, NHS, and SGA. I was also captain of the soccer team at my district high school. Once I get into the groove of college, I hope to find ways in which I can continue these activities and hobbies with campus organizations.
What has your experience in the Goodnight Scholars Program been like thus far?
The Goodnight Scholars Program has really welcomed my class with open arms. From day one of our summer retreat, we have been growing closer as a class and as a program. Of course I never experienced this program before, but it seems that my class has been subject to a lot of changes that have been made to grow the program and create a sense of community. I feel lucky to be a part of the Goodnight Scholars’ first freshman seminar. An outsider might see this extra class as a burden, but the curriculum was built to help us become better students, researchers, and entrepreneurs. Besides helping me develop professionally, this class has really helped me get to know the Goodnight Scholars’ Class of 2019. I am extremely grateful for being a part of this program. I could not imagine campus without my Goodnight family.
I feel lucky to be a part of the Goodnight Scholars’ first freshman seminar… the curriculum was built to help us become better students, researchers, and entrepreneurs.
What does being a Goodnight Scholar mean to you?
Being a Goodnight Scholar has many meanings. For one, it means that I am a part of this network of brilliant STEM minded people. You can look to these people for advice, support, connections and much more. Besides that, being a Goodnight Scholar also gives you this sense of worth. Even when you’re down or confused, you know that someone, somewhere, saw something in you that was worth investing in. There is this reminder of, “You made it this far, and you can go much further.”
What are your future career goals and aspirations?
Since sophomore year of high school, my goal was to become a mathematician and I never deviated from that path or considered anything else. Coming to NC State has opened my mind and, in some ways, confused me. Lately, I have found myself considering other career paths. The one way that I’ll really figure out what I want to do is by trying a few of these hats on. I hope that my experiences with future internships and co-ops will solidify whether I want to become a mathematician, statistician, or professor. For now, I won’t say that I have any specific career goals, but an exploratory internship is definitely in my short-term goals.
What advice would give to a new or prospective Goodnight Scholars about being involved at NC State and the Goodnight Scholars Program?
Sign up for Goodnight Scholar events as soon as they open! Everyone pounces for their favorite events first. If you hear about something really interesting, do not expect for there to be spots left on the day after registration opens! Unfortunately, I have missed a couple of the fun events because I did not take the race for spots as serious as I should have. Also, spend most of your time outside of your residence hall. There are always a billion things happening on campus. A lot of these events are free and some even offer food! You should never be bored. Sometimes school work can become overwhelming, but the best way to relieve stress is to do something that you find relaxing and interesting. See a play, go to a seminar or visit Thursday’s meditation. Of course you need to handle your school work first but don’t forget that college offers so much more.