Enhancing the Learning Environment
Scholarships allowed Natalie Morean (BSFCS ’19) to devote more time outside the classroom to community service. Her drive to help others took her all the way to Ghana.
At UGA, Natalie Morean (BSFCS ’19) developed a passion for volunteering that took her overseas to Ghana.
A scholarship fully funded this service-learning trip.
The financial support she’s received has also freed up time for her to participate in many philanthropic organizations.
Natalie is determined to start her own non-profit, using her talents to improve children’s lives.
“I feel like UGA has prepared me for any goal that I could possibly set for myself.”
– Natalie Morean
At the University of Georgia, Natalie Morean (BSFCS ’19) discovered a love for community service. Now, she’s set her sights on starting her own nonprofit to improve children’s lives. Through her volunteer experiences—including an eye-opening trip to Ghana—Natalie developed the skills to confidently pursue that goal. Her scholarships gave her the opportunities she needed to find a career path that impassions her.
“I’m a planner. I like to know things ahead of time,” said Natalie. “Because I didn’t have to worry about where my next tuition payment would come from, I joined different organizations. My scholarships alleviated that stress, allowing me to focus on other things.”
In high school, Natalie participated in the Young Scholars Program through the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. It was a welcoming introduction to the university for this Locust Grove, Georgia, native. Now, she is the first Bulldog in her family.
Soon after Natalie arrived in Athens, an upperclassman recommended she participate in the Clarke County Mentorship Program. Once a week, she spent time with her mentee, a local sixth-grade student. The program ignited a spark, and Natalie looked for more ways to get involved.
Natalie’s list of activities quickly grew to include president of the UGA section of the National Council of Negro Women, an ambassador for the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, an orientation leader, a peer tutor with the Black Educational Support Team, and a member of several honors societies.
Natalie served as a College of Family and Consumer Sciences Student Ambassador.
UGA President Jere W. Morehead presented Natalie with the 2018 President’s Fulfilling the Dream Award.
In 2018, a UGA Experiential Learning Scholarship allowed Natalie to practice her passion for helping others abroad. The scholarship—with additional scholarship support from FACS—funded a four-week service-learning trip to Ghana. Natalie traveled throughout the country with a cohort of Bulldogs, conducting health screenings and assisting at hospitals. She managed the student volunteers and evaluated the group’s effectiveness. Getting to shadow local health care professionals proved invaluable.
“The trip broke down a lot of stereotypes that we had about developing countries,” said Natalie. “Before we arrived, we wrote down what we thought we’d encounter in Ghana. And it was nothing like that.”
Natalie’s trip to Ghana taught her how to successfully work with people from different cultures. This is one of the many skills she’s gained outside the classroom through hands-on, experiential learning activities. She’s also improved her writing and learned what it takes to be an effective leader.
Natalie graduated in May 2019 and will now pursue a Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from UGA’s School of Social Work.
“I feel like UGA has prepared me for any goal that I could possibly set for myself,” said Natalie. “Earning my master’s is another step forward to becoming an executive director of my own nonprofit.”
Natalie is increasingly interested in how families, schools and community organizations play overlapping roles in young people’s well-being. By devoting her career to the success of children, she wants to make a difference for future generations.
This is also why Natalie chooses to contribute financially to UGA. A Senior Signature and 1961 Club donor, she hopes her gifts will help provide future Bulldogs with the same experiences that enriched her time at UGA.
“When you donate, it creates a cycle. Many donors were students at some point,” said Natalie. “And while they were here, they had access to opportunities because of donations from those who came before them. I want to invest in the future. That’s very important to me.”