One of the clubs in which he participated was the Gaston College Student Government Association. Being a senator in the organization helped Fogarty develop leadership skills.
“The SGA not only allowed me to grow as a leader,” he said, “but it also introduced me to amazing Gaston College faculty, fellow senators and executive board members. Without the SGA, I would not have gained the valuable experiences of event-organizing, effective communication and team-building.”
Those skills contributed to Fogarty being selected as one of eight Gaston County high school seniors who received People Helping People Scholarship monies. Presented by the State Employees Credit Union Foundation, the scholarship funds, valued at $10,000 each, are awarded to students achieving excellence in academics and community involvement and exhibiting good character, leadership and integrity.
Recipients of the scholarship are selected by North Carolina local education agencies and school districts. The scholarship committee for the Gaston County School District felt that Fogarty’s essay epitomized what the SECU was looking for in its People Helping People essay.
“The work Shane has done with Teens Changing Gaston County has been all on his own and is a powerful way to make a difference in a community,” the committee said in a joint statement. “Shane didn’t just go somewhere and volunteer. He designed the actual volunteer opportunity, wrote the grant and then implemented the volunteer opportunity. He is a strong leader with great empathy and passion for helping others.”
The scholarship will help financially when Fogarty attends North Carolina State University, beginning in August. He plans to major in architecture.
“It meant a lot to receive the SECU scholarship,” he said. “Of course, it was nice to see my hard work pay off. But I also appreciate the SECU’s investment in my future. As an architecture major, I will have a minimum of four or five years of undergraduate education to become accredited. With the addition of expensive materials for studio-based classes, the SECU scholarship certainly takes a weight off my shoulders.”
Although Fogarty has not yet fully visualized the direction he would like his architectural career to take, he added, “I hope that my career as an architect will entail the values of leadership, teamwork and community involvement that I have learned from Gaston College and GECHS.”
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