Samara Williams ’23

Samara Williams ’23

March 2023

Hometown: Durham, NC

Home High School: Voyager Academy

What's your favorite part of your job as an Online Ambassador?
My favorite part of my job as an Online Ambassador so far is having the chance to connect with other NCSSM students and students interested in the Online program. I have greatly enjoyed my time in the Online program, and like getting the opportunity to talk about my experiences.

What's your favorite part of NCSSM Online?
I would have to say that my favorite part of NCSSM Online are the students and teachers I have met. I enjoy being in a program with others who share similar interests and teachers who are passionate about the subjects they teach. All the classes I have taken so far have been very interesting, and I am glad to have the chance to take courses that are in topics I am interested in.

What's the biggest challenge you've encountered in the Online program?
Time management is one of the biggest challenges I have encountered in the Online program. During the first online class I took during my junior year, I found it challenging to balance my online class, my home high school course, and college classes I was taking. In addition to my classes, I participated in various clubs/activities outside school. It was difficult to know how to prioritize my classes, which in many scenarios, led to procrastination.

How have you met that challenge?
One of the biggest things that helped me overcome the challenge of time management was the use of an online calendar. I found it very helpful to plan my week on Sundays using Google Calendar. Once I started planning for my assignments, it became much easier to prioritize my time which ultimately helped me stay on top of all my classes.

What's an “aha” moment you've experienced in one of your Online classes?
During the second semester of junior year, I took molecular genetics. Over the semester, we discussed how gel electrophoresis worked. It was difficult for me to remember all the steps it took for gel electrophoresis to work. During the Online Weekend, we did a lab where we got to set up and use gel electrophoresis, which is where my "aha" moment occurred. While completing the lab, it suddenly clicked in my mind how the process worked, and from that moment forward, I finally understood the process and steps involved. 

What are two of your greatest interests or passions?
Two of my greatest passions and interests are social justice and medicine. After being involved in a program focused on social justice during my junior year, I became very passionate in many areas, including environmental and economic justice. Both environmental and economic social justice are areas I previously did not know about, and now I have become very passionate about how these areas can be improved. I am also very interested in medicine and hope to eventually go into the medical field.

If you had one year of freedom, what would you want to do?
With one year of freedom, I would like to travel all around the world. I am interested in traveling to many different countries and having the opportunity to experience various cultures. Seeing some famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower or the Sydney Opera House would be cool.

What are you looking forward to in the coming school year?
In the coming school year, I am looking forward to going through various senior traditions and eventually deciding where I will go to college after graduating high school.

What words of advice or wisdom do you have for Online students?
For any Online student, one piece of wisdom is to ensure that you stay on top of your NCSSM work. It can be easy to fall behind in your Online classes because they are not at your home high school, but I advise that all students make sure that they are monitoring deadlines and completing all assignments and work in a timely manner. 

Why should prospective students and their families consider NCSSM Online?
Prospective students and their families should consider NCSSM Online primarily because of all the opportunities they could gain from the program. Not only would students be able to take courses of interest, but they can have experiences that their home high schools might not offer. In addition, students will be able to meet many bright students that share similar interests and passions as their own.