Wednesday, 10 March 2021 17:10

Richmond Early College student accepted into Governor’s School

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Pictured, from left: Nicole Pait, director of K-12 English and Social Studies, Joy Harrelson, REaCH principal, Carolina Mendez and Dr. Jeff Maples, superintendent. Pictured, from left: Nicole Pait, director of K-12 English and Social Studies, Joy Harrelson, REaCH principal, Carolina Mendez and Dr. Jeff Maples, superintendent. Richmond County Schools

HAMLET — Carolina Mendez, a junior at Richmond Early College High School, has been accepted into the 2021 session of Governor’s School of North Carolina at the East campus located at Meredith College in Raleigh. Mendez is the only student from Richmond County Schools who was  accepted this year.  

“I was really surprised,” Mendez said with a smile.  

The Governor’s School of North Carolina is a 5 1/2 week summer residential program for gifted and talented high school students, integrating academic disciplines, the arts, and unique courses on each of the two campuses, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s website. Students are selected to attend through a competitive process after being nominated by their public school unit or non-public school.  

Mendez said she was expecting a letter in the mail to see if she was accepted, but she wasn’t expecting an announcement at school. Her principal, Joy Harrelson, asked her to come by her office to talk about the Environmental Club.  

“It seemed suspicious,” she said with a laugh. “I saw you all come in and questioned if this was really for Environmental Club. When I saw the letter, I thought it was an invitation for the board meeting. I wasn't expecting Governor’s School!”  

Mendez will be attending Governor’s School through the Social Science program. According to the site, the Social Science curriculum examines the major political, sociological, psychological and anthropological concepts that have influenced the 20th and 21st centuries from theoretical and applied perspectives.  

Harrelson describes Mendez as a student who is very motivated and driven. Mendez is the director and founder of the Environmental Club at REaCH and she’s also a Beta Club officer. In addition to going to school, she also works at Dunkin' Donuts.  

“She is a student who is very passionate about learning,” said Harrelson. “She’s every principal’s dream to have as a student.”  

Nicole Pait, K-12 director of English and Social Studies, said Richmond County Schools’ Gifted Department is thrilled to have Mendez represent the program. 

“N.C. Governor’s School seeks out students who would thrive in an environment where  questioning and problem solving are valued and encouraged,” she said. “Intellectual curiosity, as well as a balance of theoretical understandings and practical application are nurtured during the summer program. Carolina’s work ethic and dedication to personal and academic growth are  stellar. Congratulations Carolina!”  

Mendez is waiting to hear if Governor’s School will be virtual or in person. If it is in person, she said she’ll be excited to meet new people.  

“It’s a good way to meet people you’re going up against in the college application process,” she said.  

In addition to Governor’s School, Mendez has also applied to other pre-college programs including Project Uplift, Governor’s Page and CAMINOS. 


Last modified on Wednesday, 10 March 2021 17:17