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Scholar Profiles

Josie Fulton

Campus: UNC
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
High School: Groton School

My mother says that from a very young age, I have been the girl to wander off, sit down, and have a conversation with the most unlikely person in the room. And while I no longer have missing teeth or wear pink converse every day, I do still find myself engaged in peculiar conversation with a variety of individuals. This innate, human-centric focus is the motivation for each of my activities, whether it be DJing at the campus radio station, working as an advocate at Community Empowerment Fund, fighting with the Sunrise Movement for the Green New Deal, or arranging events at Galore, a student-run art store on Franklin St. In high school, I was the ‘english-girl.’ This, of course, made sense: I was fascinated by human experience and hoped to understand it anyway I could, whether through conversation or flipping through honest narratives of those I would never meet. In college, my focus has shifted. While my friends have always chided my earth-girl demeanor, it took until this year for my passion for environmentalism to take root. It is the intersection of environmental demise and the human experience that keeps me engaged, keeps me motivated, and keeps me furious. It is the people—those nobody dare see for fear of their non-standard experience (standard being defined, of course, by those in power)—that will be shut out, and unheard as clean air is being snatched from their lungs. This keeps me most motivated to fight. While I still read and write with an insatiable hunger for language and its beautiful ability to connect, but I am also developing feelings of stewardship for our land, for our people. As for the future, I have no idea if my focus will continue to shift. I do know, however, that I want to be a Montessori teacher at a boarding, farm-based school, wedding my early education at Montessori, a nearly holy experience in the Appalachian mountains at Camp Celo, and my boundary-stretching past three years as a boarding school student in New England. Hopefully, then, I will be able to inspire the need for connection, above all, among our next generation.

What drew you to the Robertson Program?

I was drawn to the Robertson for the exact reason I mentioned above: human connection. I found that often the most engaged students I met during my first semester were Robertsons, and their raw passion to experience the world around them at face value peaked my interest. At 15, I left home to go to school in Massachusetts, pushing me out of my comfort zone. The summers and campus switch seemed like a natural way for me to continue pushing out of my comfort zone, giving me the opportunity to connect with people I otherwise might never have met.

Fulton Josie
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