MOUNT OLIVE — For so many students, the time spent away at college is the best years of their lives. With the abundance of opportunities for self-growth and independence, life at college proves to be rewarding in so many aspects of a student’s life. That has certainly been the case for Paige Herring, a senior at the University of Mount Olive and a member of Spring Hill OFWB Church.
Herring’s journey to UMO started early. Being from Wayne County, she attended Rosewood High School and was an active member of the FFA program. She knew that the University of Mount Olive had a growing Agriculture Department and was attracted to the opportunities the program had to offer.
“My whole life I have watched my mother teach and impact the lives of students. I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do as well,” explained Herring. “In high school I was involved in my agriculture program and became a part of FFA, which led me to the career choice of being an agriculture educator. Having heard the many awesome and encouraging things about the program at the University of Mount Olive, I enrolled.”
As Herring began her journey at UMO, she was impressed by all of the kind individuals and the presence of faith at the school. “At Mount Olive I am a name, not a number. My teachers know me personally. Even the University’s President and First Lady Dr. and Mrs. Kerstetter take the time to get to know us as individuals!”
Herring loves all the experiences and opportunities that the UMO Agriculture Education Department has to offer. She has traveled to farms and businesses to learn more about the way plants grow, how they are manufactured, and how they are shipped to different stores. Herring has also received the chance to take numerous certifications for her degree, including the Pork Quality Assurance certification test and the Transportation Quality Assurance certification.
Throughout her years at UMO, Herring has grown as a person and has stepped out of her comfort zone. As a member of the Honors Program, Herring ventured to Greece for seven days this past May with her honors classmates and professors.
“It was the trip of a lifetime,” she said. “I experienced many firsts. I was able to see another country, go on my first taxi ride, go on a cruise, and see the Acropolis and many other beautiful sights.”
Now that Herring is a senior, she is excited to graduate and become a teacher, and she credits her growth and success to UMO.
“UMO has transformed my life in an amazing way! It has helped me get the education I need to prepare myself for a fulfilling career. It has also transformed me as a person and as a church member. I have also become more outgoing and have experienced things that I would never have done anywhere else!”