Student News

School counseling student Montez Thomas receives scholarship

The North Carolina School Counselor Association recently awarded Montez Thomas with a $500 scholarship. Graduate students who are studying to become school counselors are eligible to apply for the scholarship.

Applicants must write a 500-1,000 word essay on a variety of topics identified by NCSCA that pertain to the qualities of a successful school counselor. In addition, applicants must submit a description of a possible thesis or master’s project, documentation of their leadership activities and internship experiences, and letters of recommendation.

In his essay, Thomas wrote about the role of a professional school counselor and his own experiences that led him to believe that he is suited to becoming a professional school counselor. He expressed the belief that school counselors should work collaboratively in positive, constructive ways to help ensure that students maximize their potential. He also stated that a school counselor should take an active role in the school-wide community, helping to maximize student achievement and development.

In describing his own experiences that helped him develop the skills necessary to become a school counselor, Thomas said that his high school guidance counselor encouraged him to take challenging courses, participate in extra-curricular activities and expand his view of the world. As a result, Thomas became the first person in his family to graduate from college. He also had many defining moments in his work with the 21st Century Community Learners Program at Chapel Hill High School, as well as in his roles as a youth sports coach and a youth minister.

Thomas earned his undergraduate degree from UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2003. He returned in May of 2009 to attend the School of Education’s Master of Education program in School Counseling.