Meet the Park Scholarship Fall 2022 Graduates

On Dec. 17, four of the Park Scholars will put on their red graduation caps and bid farewell to their undergraduate careers at NC State. Sarah Jarrell, Class of 2023, Kelci Cox, Class of 2022, Trenton Embry, Class of 2022, and Daniel Toole, Class of 2022, have all accomplished amazing things during their tenure here, and we are so proud to call them Park Scholars! And don’t miss our Q&A, after the graduates’ bios.

Sarah Jarrell

Sarah is graduating from the College of Textiles with a B.S. in Fashion and Textile Design. While in undergrad, Sarah was a product sewer for Reborn Clothing Co. and was the director of Fashion and Design at the Boys & Girls Club. In 2019, Sarah was welcomed to the 2023 class of Centennial Scholarship recipients. The Centennial Scholarship provides each student a minimum of $15,000 per year for four years, and also provides $7,500 as a special enrichment fund that may be used for study abroad, leadership programs, career explorations or other approved enrichment activities.

Kelci Cox

Kelci is graduating with a B.S. in Integrative Physiology and Neurobiology Sciences and a minor in Art and Design. Kelci came to NC State from Düsseldorf, Germany, where she had been attending high school. In her free time, Kelci loves to play guitar, draw cartoons and sample different cuisines from all over the world. While in the Park Scholarship program, Kelci received two PEGs, a Spring semester in Seoul, South Korea, and a volunteer opportunity with Vietnamese Community Volunteering as an English teacher. Kelci was featured in the NC State’s video series in 2021. 

Trenton Embry 

Trenton is graduating with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. Over the last four years, Trenton has been involved in a variety of groups and clubs. In February 2020, he cohosted TEDXNCState on campus. He supported the College of Engineering by becoming an Engineering Ambassador (EA) and an Engineering Career Fair Coordinator, helping manage the second-largest engineering career fair in the nation at NC State. Trenton was spotlighted in 2020 in Park News. 

Daniel Toole
Daniel is graduating with a B.S. Agricultural Business Management, Agriculture & Life Sciences. Daniel enjoys playing bluegrass banjo, hiking, hunting and fishing, and is a supporter of agricultural education. Daniel was the North Carolina FFA State President during his time at NC State, where he traveled across the state and country facilitating workshops and preparing students to become strong leaders. Daniel was featured in “Meet the First-Year Class for 2018” and again in “First in the Pack: Meet Some of Our Newest Alumni.”

We asked our soon-to-be-alumni a few questions about their time at NC State and in the Park Scholarship program. 

How did the Park Scholarship impact your college career?

Sarah: The Park Scholarship impacted my college career by providing the resources for me to explore my passions, thrive in my courses, and focus on my education.

Kelci: The Park Scholarship has impacted my college career tremendously. It has allowed me to connect and learn from so many people in the community. I am truly inspired by all of my classmates (and other Park Scholars), and I love to see them succeed and achieve their goals. I have learned so much from my peers and have made many friendships that I hope will last a long time.

Trenton: In addition to being a part of TEDXNCState, and becoming an Engineering Ambassador (EA) and an Engineering Career Fair Coordinator, I have started a club called the Embedded Machine Learning club which focuses on the intersection of Embedded Systems and Machine Learning concepts. Through the club I teach upwards of 60 students over the last semester with my “zero to hero” coding workshops. About 20 students earned certificates this semester.  I also just recently accepted a Pentair Fellowship through the NCSU libraries to continue teaching the coding workshops.

Daniel: Park Scholarships provided not only a financial avenue for me, as a first-generation college student, to attend college, but also provided enormous enrichment opportunities throughout my college experience that made me more aware of problems throughout society and empowered me to make changes to solve those issues. Park Scholarships also provided me with a community at NC State, even before the first day of class, which made my transition to college easier. 

What is your favorite memory of your time in the Park Scholarships program?

Sarah: My favorite part of the Park Scholarship program was coming into the school as a freshman with a group of familiar faces around campus.

Kelci: One of my favorite memories from the Park Scholarship Program was the impromptu after-Park Block dinners. Sometimes my class would grab dinner after Park Block and hang out with each other. I especially enjoyed this during my freshman and senior year. During freshman year, it was fun to get to know everyone. During my senior year, we didn’t have Park Block as often, so it would be nice to catch up with other Park Scholars that I didn’t normally see. Sometimes our Park Faculty Scholars would join us, and this was a really fun and informal way to catch up with people and hear about what they were up to. 

Trenton: One of my favorite memories was getting to finally accomplish my “kick the bucket” goal of getting more involved in STEM outreach.

Daniel: My Park Scholarships experience was full of great memories, but my favorite memory is sitting around the fire at freshman retreat playing guitar and having other people sing along. It was such a great opportunity to bond with my classmates and get to know them as people and friends rather than as mere peers in college. In addition, I greatly enjoyed our learning lab trip to Washington D.C., where I became more aware of the sad reality of mass incarceration, and was even able to meet someone who had been wrongfully imprisoned for over 30 years. This changed my perception of the criminal justice system. 

What is next for you after graduation?

Sarah: I will be completing my Masters in Textiles abroad in Germany as an Adidas Graphics Intern next semester before heading to Kohl’s as a full-time designer. 

Kelci: After graduation I plan on going to graduate school. I’m interested in studying social behaviors so I have applied to programs mostly in Biology or Psychology. While I am waiting to start graduate school, I will be a research assistant at my current lab at NC State. I will continue studying nematodes and how they impact the management and growth of a variety of crops. 

Trenton: Up next, I am finishing my Master’s degree here at NC State in Computer Engineering and I just accepted a full time job at Garmin here in Cary, North Carolina.

Daniel: After graduation I will be pursuing my EMT and will be serving as an EMT for about a year to finish my clinical hour requirement for physician assistant school, and then will be applying to a masters of physician assistant program. As a physician assistant, I plan on providing health care and medical support to my patients while also connecting with them personally and using my position to encourage them as an entire person rather than just as a patient. Additionally, I plan to provide medical treatment to those in underserved areas of the community by holding weekend clinics and other opportunities for them to be seen by a medical professional at little or no cost.