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Reach the Top

Please read below for former students' reflections of Dr. Parker's impact on their preparation for college and careers.

"Part of who I am and have accomplished is because of the guidance and leadership of Dr. Parker.  She is a visionary and played an integral role in my successful matriculation to college.  Given Dr. Parker’s resourcefulness and commitment to her students’ success, she provided critical feedback that enabled me to submit competitive application materials, which awarded me multiple scholarships.  She also pointed me to the appropriate testing aides, gave advice on how to seek competitive letters of recommendation, and coached me on how to familiarize myself with the resources provided by institutions to bolster my success.  Most importantly, Dr. Parker extended the kind of indispensable support needed for any prospective college student--the ability to see what her students are capable of and can achieve.  I had little confidence in the idea of attending a world-renowned research institution to further my education; however, it was people like Dr. Parker who challenged me to reach beyond myself because she saw what I could not see.  I am proud to share that I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with Distinction on a full-ride academic scholarship."


Oreyane Tate

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill '20

Carolina Covenant Scholar

2020-21 Chancellor Fellows


“Dr. Tara Parker was instrumental in my preparation for applying to college and scholarship programs.  Not only did she have a vast knowledge of different avenues and programs in higher education, but she had a knack for helping students like myself find the right fit.  I remember specifically having her review some very important essays for scholarship considerations.  I ended up almost completely rewriting them after her comments, and I thought I was a pretty good writer.  However, due to her persistence and encouragement to put my very best foot forward, my applications were above and beyond what I even knew I could produce!  She also assisted me with interview prep which allowed me to interview confidently and with much less stress than many of my less prepared peers.  The greatest impact she has ad on my life has come after college graduation as I applied for graduate school and as I prepare to apply for jobs in the near future.  I now have a process for writing and revising essays, interviewing, and applying for opportunities that will take me throughout life.  Even though Dr. Parker doesn’t personally review my essays anymore, I can still hear some of her comments and encouragements in my head as I continue to apply for opportunities.”


Ashley Weingartz

East Carolina University '19

EC Scholars and Honors College / BS Sports Studies 

Division I Athlete

Current – University of South Carolina

Graduate Student - Sport & Entertainment Management


“’If you’re trying to navigate the college application process during this pandemic, Dr. Parker is the best advisor out there.  Dr. Parker spent countless hours with me, helping me to fine-tune my essays and practice how to give effective and compelling answers to interview questions.  Additionally, she was committed to the success of my peers and me.  She would spend time talking/emailing us on weekends and after hours, as well as giving last-minute counseling advice before and after interviews.  Due to her advice, I was able to attend the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill as a Morehead-Cain scholar.  I recommend Dr. Parker’s assistance for your college application endeavors!”


Ashish Khanchandani

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill '18 

Morehead-Cain Scholar / BS Quantitative Biology

North Carolina State University '19 (MS Physiology)

Current - Brody School of Medicine

Medical Student

“Dr. Parker is an amazing person, and she truly cares about her students.  She wants you to make the best decisions for YOU.  I remember having plenty of conversations with Dr. Parker about my goals, and she always encouraged me to do research on different colleges and the programs offered, check admissions requirements, graduation rates, and every now and then, job descriptions for careers I was interested in.  Also, Dr. Parker will keep it real with you.  If you are interested in something, but you aren’t exactly meeting the benchmark, she’ll let you know.  However, she will also provide you with resources and ways to improve.”


David Roberts

East Carolina University ‘18

BS Family & Community Services

Current – Employed with ECU Transit

Interim Fixed Route Manager


“Dr. Parker has had a significant impact on my education and future career path.  To this day, I remember each lesson that she taught me in both group and individual meetings.  She consistently went above and beyond to make sure that all her students were extremely prepared not only for college, but for life.  One example that comes to mind is when I had an interview for acceptance into medical school as a high school senior.  Dr. Parker made the personalized effort to call and offer individual interview preparation.  This action speaks volumes to Dr. Parker’s character and the significant care and attention that she places in each relationship that she has with her students.  I highly recommend Dr. Parker if you are looking for someone to help with college preparation, interview skills, or advice on college selection that will have your best interest as their utmost priority.”


Jake Francisco

East Carolina University '18 

ECU Honors College / BS Biology & BA Chemistry

Brody School of Medicine '19 / MS Biomedical Science

Current – University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Medical Student – Class of 2023

"I am First Lieutenant Tucker Jacobs, a proud graduate of the United States Air Force Academy (2018) as well as a South Central High School and Health Sciences Academy Alum (2014).  Dr. Tara Parker was a role model who always walked the delicate line of challenging a student and assisting a student.  Although sometimes these actions were independent of each other, the majority of the time they coincided with each other.  During my time participating in the Health Sciences Academy under Dr. Parker, I was taught the value of serving a community.  From accomplishing volunteer hours to finding ways to help in the medical field, I was always encouraged to be a leader in the community.  In order to be a leader, goals were set by Dr. Parker that were not the normal “cookie cutter” goals for an aspiring college student.  Each goal was a customized attainable milestone in which she helped me set, that would not only make me a better student, but a better member and leader for society.  Still today, I strive to carry out the lessons I was taught back in high school.  The leadership teachings and challenges set forth by Dr. Parker are ones that will still be used years and years after high school and college." 


1st LT. Tucker Jacobs

United States Air Force Academy ‘18

Division 1 Athlete – Baseball

Current – US Air Force

“Dr. Parker did several mock interviews with me when I was applying for scholarships.  She also suggested scholarships that I should apply for that I would have never found without her.  With her help, I saved a lot of money in college tuition.”


Anthony Bechtel

East Carolina University '15 & '16

BS and Master’s in Accounting

Current - Accountant at East Carolina University


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