A future in problem-solving
Holden Jones is hard to track down. When he’s not in class at Louisburg High School, he might be interning with Louisburg College, working one of two jobs – at a barbecue restaurant and a livestock farm – or responding to a call with the Centerville Volunteer Fire Department.
At East Carolina University, his focus will shift from fighting fires to firewalls.
Jones, 17, will be one of 20 incoming freshmen entering ECU in August as EC Scholars – the most prestigious academic scholarship program the university offers. He plans to pursue a degree in information systems with a concentration in data and network security.
“I enjoy problem solving and learning about what makes things work,” he said. “In the world of information technology there is always a newer, faster, and more efficient way to perform tasks. You never stop learning.”
Jones said choosing ECU was easy.
“I have always heard that when you find the right college, you will know from the moment you walk on campus,” he said. “For me, that college was ECU. My parents encouraged me to visit several schools before making my final decision, but I never had the same feeling anywhere else.”
Though Jones was nominated for several scholarships, he said nothing compares to the title ECU bestowed on him this spring.
“Being selected as an EC Scholar is the greatest honor of my life,” Jones said. “The EC Scholar’s program and Honors College make a large university small and less daunting. During the Honors College weekend, I was constantly amazed that everyone already knew my name.”
With the opportunity to study abroad, Jones said he’s already set his sights on Australia.
“In addition to the amazing cultural experiences available on the continent, many Australian universities are conducting cloud storage research,” he explained. “In our global marketplace, awareness of international research in the information technology field will be vital.”
Jones is a member of the National Honor Society and spent two years as a percussion section leader in his high school marching and symphonic bands. He also received the 2012 North Carolina Fireman’s Association Firefighter’s Scholarship for the Piedmont region.
He is the son of Paul and Candace Jones.
— Kathryn Kennedy
About EC Scholars
EC Scholars exhibit outstanding academic performance and effective leadership skills.
They have opportunities to contribute to faculty-led research studies, engagement in the community and multiple service activities.
The amount awarded to scholarship recipients is $40,000 ($5,000 per semester for eight continuous semesters). In addition, EC Scholars are provided with a $5,000 stipend to help support their required study abroad experience.
The entering Class of 2016 EC Scholar recipients have completed a rigorous three-tier selection process that includes: meeting the Honors College admissions criteria, having an additional faculty review and completing an on-campus interview. The incoming EC Scholar recipients have an average combined math/verbal SAT score of 1346 and an average unweighted GPA of 3.89.