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Poole College Celebrates Impact of Scholarships

Nearly 90 Poole College scholarship recipients had a chance to meet and talk with their benefactors at the college’s annual Scholarship Reception held at the University Club in Raleigh on November 18.

Annette L. Ranft, dean and Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. Chair, welcomed the students and more than 30 scholarship donors to the event, providing a brief update about the college.

Among the donors were Michael and Sandra Youngblood, who established the Michael T. and Sandra W. Youngblood Endowment in 2005. Their endowment supports a scholarship for students from eastern North Carolina who are interested in launching new businesses after graduation, and will be attending the NC State Poole College of Management.

Sandra Youngblood spoke about the impact of the scholarship she received as a graduating high school student from High Point, N.C., noting that it enabled her to attend any university in the state and set the course for her life. She chose to attend NC State, where she received her bachelor’s degree in business management in 1982, and met her husband, Michael, also a business management major.

Together, the Youngbloods have since launched several successful entrepreneurial ventures from their home base in eastern North Carolina, including most recently, The Hire Scene, a virtual platform company with headquarters based on NC State’s Centennial Campus.

Sandra Youngblood said that, when invited to consider establishing a scholarship back in 2005, they wondered if it was the right time in their lives to make such a commitment. They then decided that there never would be a perfect time. That investment has been supporting scholars at NC State Poole College for several years now.

Tess Siggins, a freshman who received the Terry G. Wood Scholarship, spoke from the recipient’s perspective about scholarship support.

“Words cannot express how grateful and honored I am to be a recipient of such generosity,” Siggins said. “It is truly a heartening thing to know that there are people out there … that work tirelessly to ensure that people like me are given the opportunity to pursue their dreams of attending NC State’s tremendous school of business.”

She said that, “as a new member of the Wolfpack, I have already been blessed to be able to experience first-hand just how true it is that ‘the strength of the wolf is the pack, and the strength of the pack is the wolf.’”

Since arriving on campus as a freshman in fall 2016, she said she has “constantly felt the support of the pack, not only through your donation that makes my presence here possible but also through the countless resources NC State has in place to help students on a daily basis.”

Siggins noted that she had first learned of the ‘pack’ quote while a middle school student attending a summer camp on campus.

“I remember feeling so tiny on our huge campus, and as I walked by those big arches that said, ‘the strength of the wolf is the pack, and the strength of the pack is the wolf,’ I wondered how a campus so large would be able to support individual students, and vice versa,” she said.

She learned ‘how’ during her summer camp experience. “I was blown away by how dedicated the student staff was to each other and us participants. Though the university community is quite large, it is amazingly just that – a community. … After that week, I remember coming home and telling my mom, “this place is so awesome, I have to go there!”

As a graduating high school senior, the NC State Poole College of Management was Siggins’ top college choice. “I knew since my sophomore year in high school that I wanted to go into supply chain management, and NC State is by far the best institution to study such a field,” she said.

Siggins received her acceptance letter the same day that her high school basketball team won its homecoming game. That excitement faded some, though, she said.

“I am the second oldest of a family of eight, and although I had worked hard then, and still do now, at my part-time job after school and during the summers, some things are just not an option for us. Imagine my joy, then, when I received my scholarship letter and with it, the knowledge that I would be joining Poole’s Class of 2020,” she said.

Siggins thanked the donors who made it possible for her to attend Poole College. “Along with my gratitude comes a sense of obligation. Just as your generosity has shown that the ‘strength of the wolf is the pack,’ I am trying every day to show the latter part of that statement, ‘the strength of the pack is the wolf.’ Already I am participating in clubs and organizations on campus and taking advantage of all the great resources NC State has to offer,” she said. Among those activities is serving as a freshman representative on the Poole Student Council.

“I promise that I am making sure to seize every opportunity given to me by this wonderful college in this great university. to make good the investment you have place in my education here. Just as it was my dream all those years ago to experience the Wolfpack community as a student, it is now my dream to work my way to be where you’re sitting now and continue extending your generosity to future generations of the Wolfpack.