A Magnolia Scholar Story: Megan Blackstock

by on June 26, 2017

Between academics, a campus internship, a teaching assistant’s duties and volunteer work with two organizations, Megan Blackstock’s weeks are packed tighter than a carry-on travel bag. But while she does all that juggling, the junior Biochemistry major has her eye on a future that is just as aligned with Wake Forest’s Pro Humanitate motto as her present.

The daughter of a truck driver and a tax administrator, Blackstock grew up in rural Rockingham County, NC, in which people 18 and older graduate from college at less than half the rate of those in the rest of the state.

Seeking greater academic rigor, she transferred from her local high school to the prestigious North Carolina School of Science and Math. While that prepared her for college work, it didn’t help her afford Wake Forest.

“My parents and I sat down,” Blackstock recalled, “and they said, ‘You’re going to have to figure this out.’ Without Magnolia Scholars and my other scholarships, I would not be here.”

And once here, Blackstock discovered the culture of faculty-student academic collaboration that defines the Wake Forest experience. She was able to study in London thanks to Magnolia Scholars programming support that supplements general financial aid.

And she threw herself into volunteer work with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina and the Salvation Army’s Hope Center, in which she tutors homeless schoolchildren from first through fourth grade.

“The greatest moments,” she said, “are when they come up to me and hug me. I like being there for those kids.”

As for the future, Blackstock intends to meld the entirety of her Wake Forest experience into a career of service. Since her first trip to the dentist as a child, in which the dentist took the edge off an impending tooth-pulling with his friendly manner, Blackstock has wanted to go into that field. Her classwork in biochemistry will make her an attractive candidate for dental school, to which she will apply in the coming months for 2018 enrollment. Her liberal-arts education has helped her engage with her fellow students. Her community-service work has put her in touch with underserved populations.

“I want to own my own practice with an emphasis on kids in need,” she said. “I want to go back to Rockingham County, and I want to serve that community.”

And the need is profound. According to the 2010 census estimates, only four dentists live in Rockingham County, population 93,000. That’s one for every 23,250 people – more than 11 times the national average. Blackstock aims to do her part to improve that.

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