Meet Terrence Vanderhorst
As a high school student in his hometown of Georgetown, South Carolina, Terrence Vanderhorst couldn’t wait to branch out and start his own life. He knew he wanted to go to college--but he also realized it would be a tough road ahead since he’s the first person in his immediate family to do so. And just like many other first generation college students, Vanderhorst had no idea how he would foot the bill for a four year degree.
Then he heard about Pack Promise. “It’s really the only reason I was able to come to NC State,” he says. “In fact, if it wasn’t for the program I might not have gone to college at all—I probably would have gone into the military. Pack Promise really opened a lot of doors for me.” When the letter announcing his acceptance into Pack Promise arrived, Vanderhorst said he was surprised—and felt “very blessed.”
Then, of course, came the other big challenge: figuring out how to survive on his own at NC State. Even though Vanderhorst couldn’t wait to start his first semester as a college student, he also knew he had to find his way around a big campus—without the help of older siblings or parents who had done the same before him. “I learned pretty fast that my responsibilities had changed,” he said. “I kept wishing I had someone who had gone before me who could help.”
Fortunately, Pack Promise services and support systems help new students transition to college life. Vanderhorst credits several faculty and staff members who advise Pack Promise Scholars for helping him learn the ropes. “They’re some of the most helpful people I’ve ever known,” he says. “They really try to do a lot for you, and I appreciate everything they’ve helped me with—I know I can go to their offices and talk to them any time I need to.” Vanderhorst is currently an aerospace engineering major, but he says he’s also considered a career in the medical field. Either way, the prospects for a promising career are good—and Vanderhorst is grateful for the opportunities he’s been given.
**Note, beginning in 2011-12, Pack Promise is only available to North Carolina residents. While students who began the program prior to that time may continue to receive funding and support services, new Pack Promise scholars will be selected from in state.**