The Class of 2022 had their high school years seriously interrupted due to the COVID pandemic. For Ruritan Scholarship winner Georgia Malick, there were silver linings in that cloud paving the way to a bright future in Early Childhood Education.
As a freshman Georgia was able to become a Head Start Preschool Helper in the classrooms that operate from Tuscarora High School. “It was fun, but COVID brought an end to that opportunity.” As a senior, the program was opened again, and Georgia discovered her passion for working with young children. “Watching a young child develop and learn as a result of their activity in the preschool classroom is amazing.” She will attend Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina this fall.
The most difficult thing for Georgia during COVID was the loss of daily structure. “I need structure in my day, so the first thing I did was find a way to create it.” Georgia and her father build a room in the attic over their garage, and this became her “classroom” for the duration. “It allowed me to focus on my goals for the day and not get distracted. It was a big help even after we went back to the classroom, especially when it was time to work on college applications!”
Earning her own money and paying her own way has always been important to Georgia so she worked part-time in local restaurants and as a lifeguard. “Financial literacy is something my mother taught me. I make a budget and stick to it. Working while in school has also made me appreciate the need for balance in my life.” Her studies were never put on the backseat. By participating in Dual Enrollment programs available through Northern Virginia Community College, Georgia heads to Appalachian State with a full year of college credits that complete the pre-requisite courses for her declared major!
Georgia was also a leader in Tuscarora’s PEER program. Positive Experiences & Educational Relationships is a class rather than an extra-curricular activity. You need to apply to the program and participate in building supportive relationships between students. PEER student leaders accompany 5 or 6 students who need support throughout the year. PEER teaches mentoring skills and looks for students who have overcome challenges to participate as leaders. Georgia had an opportunity to help students from other countries in addition to being new to Tuscarora. As a member of Rho Kappa, the History Honor Society, Georgia filled her community service requirements by visiting residents at Heritage Hall. “I still visit a few of the residents I met through this activity. On Saturday mornings I stop in before work to stay in touch with this community.”
The school’s reputation for community service was a significant factor in Georgia’s choice of Appalachian State. “I visited and fell in love, not only with the natural beauty that reminded me of home in Lucketts, but with the big heart this school has for serving communities beyond the campus.” Georgia credit’s her participation in Bethel United Methodist Church on Stumptown Road with her desire to give back to her community.
Congratulations Georgia! Lucketts is very proud of you!