Katie King ’23 is a life-long learner who, one day, hopes to inspire future generations to love learning as much as she does.
Goodnight Scholars Program: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Katie King ’23: I am a first-year math education major at the incredible NC State. I’ve grown up most of my life in Hendersonville, which is a small town next to Asheville. I was adopted from Kunming, China when I was a year old and I am the oldest of two sisters in my family. My sister was also adopted from China when she was a year old. In Hendersonville, I went to West Henderson High School where both of my parents taught and where my sister also attended. My entire family was at the same school for two years before I graduated. In high school I was involved in theater, journalism, and student government. I also love to cook, read, and spend time with my family. I love to experiment with different recipes and create delicious dishes for my family to share. At NC State, I am involved with Teaching Fellows and the SAY Village along with the Goodnight Scholars Program. These organizations have allowed me to immerse myself in different classroom and develop my passion for education and helping others. I am so thankful to have these opportunities to enrich my stay here at NC State and I can’t wait to learn more about how to be an effective, supportive, and compassionate educator for high school students.
If you had to summarize your personality in one sentence, what would it say?
I would use the lyrics from Grow as You Go by Ben Platt that says, “Grow as we go. You won’t be the only one. I am unfinished, I’ve got so much left to learn.” This encompasses my desire to keep learning and the understanding that there is always so much you don’t know about something or someone. Also, I had to use lyrics to describe myself because I absolutely love music and find it is another was to suitably reflect my personality.
How would you describe your life as an NC State student?
I just finished my first semester and I am already totally, completely, and full-heartedly in love with NC State. I’ve really enjoyed most of the classes I’ve already taken and am so excited for the classes I will be taking this spring semester. The adjustment to college life hasn’t been as difficult as I had imagined. I was able to start the year as a member of all these wonderful organizations and that made me feel welcomed and at home more than anything else. Just seeing friendly faces around campus is helpful and makes campus seem a lot smaller. I’ve also loved learning new subjects and figuring out the best ways to study and take notes. The whole process of figuring out how to learn in a college setting has been like one big puzzle that I’ve had a great time solving. And now that I’ve got a good grasp on different techniques, I can’t wait to learn even more during spring semester. Overall, I’d have to say my time at NC State has been a time of thoughtful learning and enriching experiences.
Any personal accomplishments that you are proud of?
Although it’s hard to pinpoint just one accomplishment, I think getting into the Goodnight Scholars Program fills me with the most pride because of how it is also a testament to all the other accomplishments from my high school career. I’ll never forget when I got the call last spring. I was in my journalism class when I kept getting calls from an unknown number. When I finally picked up, it was my group leader from interview day, Josh Jimison, congratulating me and telling me I got the scholarship! I was so confused! I did not expect to get a call. I had been patiently waiting until three to get an email. So when I got the call I was sure it was to confirm my email address or possibly tell me they needed more information from me. I was so ecstatic and excited when he told me that I think my journalism teacher was genuinely concerned about my well-being. That evening, once the shock wore off, I was just so pleased with myself and filled with gratitude for the friends, family, and mentors who have supported me through the activities and opportunities that had earned me this scholarship. I took pride in every long performance, student government meeting, and volunteer opportunity that I accomplished with the help of my peers and it was as if a chain reaction happening inside of me. It was like all the hard work and effort I had exerted for the past four years was finally coming together into one giant miracle of an outcome.
The support and compassion from fellow Goodnights is truly amazing and has made my transition to NC State easier.
Tell us about your time in the Goodnight Scholars Program.
My first semester in the Goodnight Scholars Program has been so rewarding. I cherish all of the activities that I have been a part of that have contributed to my understanding and appreciation of the Goodnight Scholars community. All of the social events have brought me closer to the other scholars in my cohort, and the GSP 250 course really helped me understand campus and all the resources at my disposal. I look forward to participating in more volunteer events this semester and, hopefully, travelling with other Goodnights in the next few years!
What does being a Goodnight Scholar mean to you?
Being a Goodnight Scholar means that you have an unyielding passion for STEM that motivates you to achieve amazing things. It also means that you are passionate for helping others and are eager to make a difference. I have seen these qualities in every Goodnight Scholar I know. The support and compassion from fellow Goodnights is truly amazing and has made my transition to NC State easier.
Do you have an unforgettable memory from your time in the Program thus far?
I will never forget going to the State Fair for the first time with my fellow Goodnights. I was hanging out with a few friends and we were on the hunt for the best food! We must have walked around each food booth twice before we each decided which overpriced foods we were willing to pay for. While we were there, David Moore got a spider painted on his face like the spider from the Spider-Man mask, and it was so funny to see the looks everyone gave him. The kids were in awe and the parents were confused. It was great.
What is one experience you need to have at NC State before you graduate?
I really want to be a part of an NC State performance. I have always loved to act and sing and I have missed performing so much this semester. So before I graduate, I need to either sing, dance, or act in one thing or another to be completely satisfied that I have exhausted all of my NC State opportunities.
Where do you picture yourself after graduation?
After graduation, I hope to go back to my home of Henderson County to teach. I love Hendersonville. It is the perfect place to live and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. After graduation, I hope to teach high school mathematics and teach my students the value of being a diligent student and a life-long learner.
Photography credit: Jason Perry/Goodnight Scholars Program