Lorenda SchantzThe Board of Directors and staff of the Family Support Network of Eastern North Carolina offers congratulations to Lorenda Schantz who is the recipient of the 2012 Angel Boberg-Webb Memorial Scholarship for senior college students who plan to teach children with special needs.

Lorenda is a fifth year senior at East Carolina University, majoring in Special Education with a subspecialty in adaptive curriculum. Lorenda explained in our July 24th interview that her experience with a close friend and her young child influenced her career choice. Her friend’s child was born with a serious medical illness that required multiple interventions and a host of medical professionals. As a close friend she saw what dedication and advocacy it took to parent a child with these needs. Lorenda also saw what a positive impact the child made on so many others. This experience convinced Lorenda that she wanted to work with children and her calling was teaching. So, she changed her major from business to a dream of becoming a Special Education Teacher while at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington. Then, in 2011 she came to East Carolina University to pursue her special education degree. While completing her studies she has had practicum assignments in various classrooms. Of all these experiences Lorenda has especially enjoyed working with children/teens with autism. In 2011 she worked at Northwest Elementary School in Pitt County in a kindergarten-2nd grade classroom for children with autism. She describes learning behavioral techniques that would help them be more successful students and peers. Lorenda also valued her mentor’s use of a blend of both group and individual interventions in the classroom to help each student reach their potential.

Lorenda has already received her classroom placement for 2012. She will be working at Eastern Elementary School in Washington, NC. She will be working with children with autism from preschool age through first grade. She is excited about this new opportunity to further develop her teaching skills.

Volunteering has been one of Lorenda’s passions. She has served as the fundraising chair for the ECU Student Council for Exceptional Children, volunteered in community events (Special Olympics, Friday Fun Night Events, Holiday Dances) and attended state and national conferences. She also has worked as a lab assistant since May 2012 at the Irene Howell Assisted Technology Center at ECU. At this center she assists with instruction of assistive technology devices, helps with professional development trainings and advises others on managing/operating software and hardware.

Lorenda’s long term goals include teaching children/teens with autism in North Carolina. She wants to learn more about this population and work to further adapt teaching methods to each individual child’s needs. She is also interested in curriculum development and educational policy and is considering pursuing a master’s degree. Lorenda Schantz has a bright future ahead of her and the Family Support Network of Eastern North Carolina is proud to help her continue to pursue her educational goals.