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Whitney Maxwell
Elementary Education
Class of 2009

Raleigh, North Carolina

As the oldest child in her family, Whitney Maxwell often played school with her younger sisters and brother as they grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. When she became an elementary student herself, she quickly learned to love learning. Later, as a babysitter and a children’s teacher in her church, she became even more aware of how deeply children are influenced by those who teach and care for them.

A senior in the School of Education’s Elementary Education program, Whitney Maxwell is passionate about children. She wants to make an impact on children’s lives in her career. “After considering various options, I realized that education is the best path for me to do important work that I enjoy,” she says.

Whitney values the range of experiences she has had in the School of Education. Through her practicum placements she has observed a variety of teaching styles, while her academic work has taught her the basics and introduced her to creative ways of thinking. “All of that will help me as I establish my own approach as a teacher,” she affirms.

In particular, Whitney appreciates the Willie Hall Kennedy Scholarship that she received last year. This meritbased scholarship is funded annually by the Kennedy brothers—Harold, Harvey and Michael—in memory of their grandmother, a lifelong teacher in Winston-Salem. “Not only has the generous support from the scholarship covered a significant portion of the cost of my college education,” Whitney notes, “but in addition, I have been inspired by the story of Willie Hall Kennedy and her remarkable influence on so many people throughout her teaching career.”

After she gains a few years of experience as a classroom teacher, Whitney wants to pursue a graduate degree in school counseling. “I care deeply about getting to know my students as people and about their well-being, not just in the classroom but in their families and in society as well,” she says. “As a teacher and perhaps eventually a school counselor, I want to focus on helping students develop their strengths, learn and grow. For me, nothing could be more important or meaningful than that.”

Please consider making an unrestricted gift to the School of Education Foundation so that we can provide the best opportunities and education for students like Whitney.

Every gift in any amount is helpful and appreciated. To give a gift online, visit Make a Gift. You may also send a check to the School of Education Foundation, Attn: Annual Fund, Peabody Hall, CB 3500, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3500.

For more information, contact Laurie Norman, director of alumni relations, at laurie_norman@unc.edu or call 919.843.6979.