ALBEMARLE — On May 9, the Bezos Scholar Program announced that two Stanly County residents and representatives of North Stanly High School — educator Tina H. Carter and student Abigail Wahl — have been included as members of its 2022 Scholars list.
Each year, the leadership development program funded by the Bezos Family Foundation undergoes a national search for 17 juniors from the U.S. and Africa, along with educators from each of their schools, to select as Bezos Scholars. The cost-free program provides leadership training, college advising, and enacts community change projects individualized to each participant.
Carter, a CTE drafting architecture and engineering teacher at North Stanly, is a member of the Go Global NC Teachers Program and has been awarded as a three-time Stanly County Schools Teacher of the Year.
“I am honored and excited to connect with Scholars in an inclusive environment that promotes curiosity and challenges thinking, which will transcend to positive change in our communities,” she wrote in a media release accompanied by the program’s announcement.
According to her Scholars profile, Carter was active when the pandemic began as she engaged local businesses to help fund a project where she worked from home to 3D print face shields and donate them to front-line workers.
Wahl, a North Stanly junior and attorney for a local Teen Court Program, was selected in conjunction with Carter and honored for her academic achievements that led her to score in the 98th percentile on the SAT and ACT.
“I am excited to connect with other people and share experiences I would otherwise not be able to access,” Wahl stated in her Scholars profile, adding that she is passionate about facing the challenges of reading comprehension in elementary-aged children while also increasing the appreciation for literary arts. She is also currently on the third draft of what she hopes to be her debut novel.
For each member, the yearly Bezos Scholar program dedicates between eight and 20 monthly hours on program-related activities such as virtual workshops and assignments where a community-based team is enacted to pursue a community change project. Since 2005, the program has successfully created 188 of those projects with the assistance of the 435 Bezos Scholars alumni around the world.
Additionally, Scholars are granted a cost-free trip to the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado, for a full week in June. For over 60 years, the Aspen Institute has been a national gathering place for leaders to engage a broader audience in a discussion of the arts, science, culture, religion, philosophy, economics, and politics.