Easterday selected for the June Fleming Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship at PDCCC

Ajalyn EasterdayAjalyn Easterday graduated from ARGS in June. She is the recipient of the June Fleming Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship at Paul D. Camp Community College.
 
There is no room for pretentiousness in any given hour of the day for Ajalyn Easterday. She is grateful for any opportunities that arise—and whether it is through her academic performance or a dance performance, she finds a way to show it.
 
“My mom and dad are my biggest role models,” she said. “They have taught me to have a strong, consistent work ethic in order to reach my goals.” Ajalyn is the daughter of Tamika and Jeremy Easterday.
 
The 18-year-old has been awarded the June Fleming Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship at Paul D. Camp Community College—named for the college’s recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy awarded in April.
 
Easterday graduated in June from the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School (ARGS) for Arts and Technology in Petersburg. While there, she served as a member and co-president of the Interact Club, a service organization through which she assisted in the initiation of school and community outreach projects.
 
“One of these projects was a peer tutoring program within school hours to accommodate those who weren’t able to stay after hours, along with helping the incoming freshmen become accustomed to their new classes and work load,” she said. “While I assisted peers with their classes, I was also able to utilize this resource and receive help from other Interact tutors.”
 
The PDCCC general studies major also served as a mentor through a performing arts organization, Dance Interface, while at the Governor’s school. The dance group performed at various events and venues, but Binford Middle School, where they had established a dance program for their students, stands out for Ajalyn.
 
“I was able to help teach a master class for more than 20 students and demonstrated choreography,” she recalled. “This experience inspired me because I was able to mentor young dancers who share the same passion with me and help them learn more about the craft of dance.”
 
In addition, Easterday found time to participate as a member and treasurer of the French Club and was a member of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts.
 
“Her peers relied on her to keep them on task in various classes,” said David Speaks II, Easterday’s math instructor at ARGS. “They looked to her for organizational skills. She was always making study guides and various tools that would not only help her, but others as well.”
 
Easterday also took English dual enrollment classes at John Tyler Community College and social science classes through Richard Bland College of William & Mary. She earned the Human Anatomy Academic Scholar Award in May 2017 and Best Group Choreographical Work in May 2018.
 
In her first semester at PDCCC, she plans to earn an associate’s degree before transferring to Longwood University to major in biology.
 
“The field of medicine interests me the most and through my studies, I hope to find the right career path for me,” she said. “Orthopedic surgery is something I am interested in pursuing, along with becoming a physical therapist for a professional dance company.”
 
She is currently fulfilling her passion for the performing arts by teaching ballet and serving as a teacher’s assistant at Carol Fox’s Contemporary School of Dance. She is an active member of the Rock Church of Franklin through which she volunteers for activities and where she is part of a life group for young adults.
 
“My parents have always been there through the early morning rehearsals, the late night shows, and the long drives between the studio and school,” she said. “I am lucky to have a mother and father who continue to support me through all of my endeavors.”
 
Easterday is also grateful for her selection as the June Fleming Commonwealth Legacy Scholar.
 
“This scholarship will give me the opportunity to further my education,” she said. “It will help me put a strong foot forward academically and financially for next year, and my coming years at a larger university.”