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Inspired by Current ‘Fellows’

Andrea Sanchez-Zarate, a freshman in our department, was a recipient of a Caldwell Fellow Scholarship.  She decided to become a Caldwell Fellow while attending a Summer Bridge Program at NC State prior to her first semester here.  Andrea met some of the current Caldwell Fellows at Summer Bridge and they encouraged her to look into the program and attend an informational meeting. Andrea became very interested and decided to apply: “becoming a fellow would help me develop and grow into the type of person I want be while being a part of an amazing community of leaders who are passionate about social change.”


‘Fellows’ Share Common Passion

Andrea describes the Caldwell Fellows as a group of students that share a passion of learning, growing, and serving others: “Each and every one of us is unique and passionate about different Andrea Sanchez-Zaratetopics, however we all prioritize academic excellence, intellectual curiosity and creativity.”  The Caldwell Fellows receive about 300 applications on average every year and select 25-26, which is approximately 10% of the applicant pool, so receiving this high honor is no small feat. To obtain the Caldwell Scholarship, Andrea had to complete an application that consisted of five short essays and three long essays, two recommendation letters, and a video submission.  When she was selected as a finalist, she attended “Interview Day.” which involved being interviewed by current and past Caldwell Fellows along with people associated with the program.  She had to complete a total of four interviews and attended lunch with some of her interviewers, allowing her to network. Upon receiving the scholarship, she was awarded money to be put towards tuition, as well as stipends for personal development experiences.

As a scholarship recipient, Andrea must meet high expectations: “The program expects each of the students to hold themselves to a higher standard and be an active participant in the program. Academic excellence, leadership, and service are core values of the Caldwell Fellows.  Fellows are expected to be a community of lifelong learners that are dedicated to pursuing challenges that will help them grow in all aspects.”

As a first-year Caldwell Fellow, Andrea is excited to experience the first-year retreat, which is a retreat that allows the new class to bond while also developing leadership.  Andrea also hopes to go on a Wilderness Leadership Experience.  This is a trip guided by leadership-certified Caldwell alumni and the students are taken to a wilderness area of the US for ten days of backpacking and leadership development, this is a trip that Andrea plans to use her stipends for.

Oh the Organizations she’s Involved with……

Besides being involved in the Caldwell Fellows, Andrea is involved in several organizations on campus, such as The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).  She is heavily involved in Read to LEAD, a program dedicated to using literacy as a tool to teach children in unserved areas about equity and social justice issues. Additionally, she is a part of Women in Science Engineers (WISE), Minority Engineering Program (MEP), MSA Ambassadors, and Mi Familia.  As of now, Andrea plans to travel to several parts of Europe this summer.  She will be going to Portugal, Spain, and Morocco and plans to trek part of the Camino de Santiago, a famous pilgrimage that leads to Santiago, Spain.  She hopes to be a counselor for a Summer Bridge Program when she returns from Europe. Way to go, Andrea!

By guest blogger: Brooke Orr