My name is Alex Carson, a 2010 graduate of Pendleton County Schools. I am currently pursuing a double major in Graphic Communications Management and Digital Imaging Design at Eastern Kentucky University. Alongside my majors in which I am highly passionate about, I am working on a minor in Public Relations. My educational path has been molded from an early passion for the arts and public interaction, derived from my years within the Pendleton County school district.
While in Pendleton County schools, I was highly involved in the GATES program where a myriad of opportunities were provided. In 6th grade I competed against students across Kentucky in the state ArtFest competition and received first place in my grade. With broadened knowledge and enhanced communication skills, I went on to win ArtFest all of the three years I competed. Under the GATES program, I was a member of National Art Honors Society (NAHS) and placed in various competitions for my progressive artistic skills I developed throughout the years. As a senior I held the position of NAHS president. Beyond art involvement, the GATES program allowed me to be a member of the first ever Pendleton County Mock Trial team, the award-winning Kentucky United Nations team, Kentucky Youth Assembly, and to help plan the Haiti Benefit Concert within our community. One of the highlights of being a GATES student was participating in the Kentucky Association of Gifted Educators (KAGE) conference every year where Pendleton County students presented mind-challenging projects to gifted educators across the state of Kentucky. Being the only school to have this privilege, and to be able to challenge gifted educators was something I won’t forget.
These opportunities allowed me to be selected as a Governor’s Scholar as a junior in high school, helped develop my skills to be editor of our high school yearbook, and enabled me to be elected as senior class president. However, beyond these positions, the GATES program truly challenged me beyond the classroom and inspired me to be passionate about something that I really enjoyed doing. The GATES program allowed gifted students to be continually challenged, tested, and involved to create a multi-faceted educational experience prior to college.
Now at a University that I love, I attribute my positions as Director of Graphic Design for EKU Student Government Association and the EKU Milestone yearbook editor to skills I obtained while in the GATES program. I have also been the head web and graphic designer for a new design firm in Richmond, Kentucky by the name of Croley, Crump, & Brandenburg Designz for two years now. Holding a professional design position as a first semester junior could not have been done without prior development and passion. While GPA is not everything, the fact that I have maintained a 4.0 alongside a heavy workload is a developed skill that the GATES program fostered at an early age.
I attribute any of my successes, as small as they may be, to the time spent within the GATES program in Pendleton County. It is a one-of-a-kind gem within the district. I am forever grateful to have participated in such a fun yet educational experience.