A recent Gaston College graduate has just earned a prestigious honor. Mariana de Andrea Pereira has been selected as a Goodnight Scholar in a transfer class for 2024. Pereira, a native Brazilian, was also named an Associate in Science Outstanding Graduate, and she is a high honors graduate in the Gaston College class of ’21. She plans to start at North Carolina State University in August.
Pereira and her father, mother and brother moved to America not quite three years ago, settling in Mount Holly. Her extended family remains in Brazil. She started at Gaston College two years ago, after selecting the school for its variety of majors, the welcoming admission staffers and its proximity to her new home. She has excelled during her time at the college and has greatly impressed her instructors and everyone with whom she has interacted.
In April, Pereira learned that she is one of only 25 students invited to join the N.C. State University Goodnight Scholars Program’s Transfer Class of 2024. The Goodnight Scholars Program is a comprehensive student development program designed to develop scholars into leaders within the STEM and/or education fields.
“The Goodnight Scholars Program, since I submitted my application, was open to listening to my aspirations, dreams and accomplishments,” said Pereira. “Just like Gaston College, they offered me an opportunity to show my potential as an international student, and they were incredibly welcoming and engaging. Their program is full of diverse activities, and it was an honor to be selected as a candidate. Now I am a future Goodnight Scholar.
“NC State has been my first choice since 2019,” she continued. “But I did not believe I could afford to go to this amazing school. Being an international student, I need to pay out-of-state tuition, which makes college unaffordable for me. The Goodnight Scholars Program was my hope to continue my education, and without it, I would not be able to attend NC State. They did not limit my opportunity to be part of the program due to my international conditions; instead, they welcomed me. I am immensely grateful for this more-than-perfect opportunity to afford college. I am willing to take this opportunity to grow, learn and improve. It will be a privilege to join the prestigious Goodnight Scholars Program.”
After earning a bachelor’s degree, Pereira plans to enroll in medical school. She hopes to one day pursue a career in pediatric medicine.
The Goodnight Scholarship Program at NC State helps prospective students to afford higher education. Each year, 50 graduating high school seniors and 25 transfer students are selected. The Goodnight Scholarship is valued at $21,000 per year for up to four years ($84,000) for traditional students and three years ($63,000) for transfer students. Both receive access to a comprehensive student development program that includes weekly programming, exclusive travel opportunities, and enrichment grant funding.
Mariana's selection as one of the 25 transfer winners was based in part on her serving as an undergraduate research scholar on the Women’s Impact Fund Research Grant investigating the potential antibiotic resistance of microbial populations along the Catawba River. At NC State Mariana intends to major in Biochemistry.
High school seniors selected for Goodnight Scholarships this year included Yohana Nava-Trejo from West Lincoln High School. Yohana was on the Superintendent's Advisory Council, a National Honor Society and Beta Club member, a junior marshal, a member of the National Technical Honors Society and the Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society. Yohana plans to major in Elementary
Education with a concentration in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
Jonathan Lawrence from Saint Stephens High School was chosen from Catawba County. Cleveland County got two Goodnight Scholarships this year--one for Austin Brown from Kings Mountain High School and the other for Morgan Walker from Burns High School.