Rouse said when she found out she was a semifinalist, she was “truly astounded. I lived with my grandpa for most of my life, so my parent were not teachers or people that everyone knew so I was truly shocked whenever I found out that I was a semifinalist. I am amazed that a “normal” person like me was even considered for such a pristine award.”
An LCC Guarantee Scholarship recipient, she also received the Remarkable Futures Leadership Scholarship from Chick-fil-a when she worked there in 2020. Rouse said she decided to go to LCC because her counselors at South Lenoir High School advised her to apply, due to the caliber of the education and the affordability of the program. “They also informed me of the possible scholarships, such as the LCC Guarantee, which was a tremendous factor in me applying.”
Rouse said for most of her life, beginning when she was a young child, she had made up her mind that she wanted to be a teacher. “I used to ‘teach’ my friends and stuffed animals. Whenever I was in high school, however, I thought that I either wanted to be a high school teacher or pediatric nurse,” she said.
“I took all the Health Science courses, where I realized that this was not what I wanted to do, and I went back to my childhood aspiration,” she said. “I wanted to be a teacher, firstly, because of the wonderful teachers that I had the privilege of having throughout my childhood and on up to graduation,” she said.
Rouse said that she would encourage others to pursue their dreams regardless of their family circumstances. “I knew that I wanted to make a difference helping children and this is the way I feel called to make a difference in children’s lives. I hope to be the teacher that they have where they know that they are loved and wanted while they are in my class, if they learn nothing else, because not every student has this at home.”