Brinkley-Lane Scholar: Roz Burgess

Eighteen-year-old Roz Burgess of Raleigh, North Carolina, has been named a 2024 Brinkley-Lane Scholar.

“I opened the envelope from Dr. Ford, and when I heard that music coming from the letter, I started jumping up and down and shouting. My mom and I hugged each other tightly because we knew how much I wanted to be a Brinkley-Lane Scholar.”

Brinkley-Lane Scholars is the most prestigious undergraduate award program offered at East Carolina University (ECU). The four-year merit scholarship recognizes outstanding academic performance, commitment to community engagement and strong leadership skills. Recipients receive a fully funded education, covering the cost of tuition, fees, room and board for both in-state and out-of-state students and unique high-impact experiences, as well as the ability to explore the world with a $5,000 study abroad stipend. Scholars benefit from access to an array of leadership opportunities, research with award-winning faculty and a robust alumni network.

Building a support network will be at the top of Burgess’s mind when he gets to campus.

“I want to meet many new people and get to know my professors,” said Burgess.

Burgess also plans to hit the ground running regarding his studies, both business and entrepreneurship.

“I look forward to getting involved with ECU’s entrepreneurship program and joining clubs. One club that grabbed my attention is the CEO club,” he said.

Unlike most first-year entrepreneurship students, Burgess will bring legacy and experience to the classroom. His grandfather was a successful entrepreneur, and “hearing stories about him inspired me to become one,” said Burgess.

In high school, Burgess opened Burgess Bakery, which grew rapidly due to its popular cake pops and elite customer base that included the North Carolina Museum of Art and one of the most followed people on YouTube.

“All it takes is to put aside all the excuses and just start,” said Burgess.

It appears Burgess will take that same approach at ECU. Aside from establishing a strong network and getting to know his professors, being successful in the classroom is a top priority.

“In my first year at ECU, I hope to make all A’s in my classes because that is very important to me,” said Burgess. “I hope to make many friends and have a tight bond with my other Brinkley-Lane scholars.”

“I want the ECU community to know I am coming strong and ready to embrace college. I am a leader who doesn’t follow the crowd.”

For his study abroad opportunity, Burgess plans to visit Brussels, Belgium.

“One of my high school teachers studied abroad for business (in Brussels), and hearing about his experience made me eager to study there as well,” he said. “I think it will be a lot of fun to get immersed in a new culture.”

Burgess plans on being a good representative of ECU. He says he wants to be a good example for people and to show them what it looks like to have drive, passion, persistence, and many other qualities of being a respected leader.

“I am excited to show ECU why I was chosen to a Brinkley-Lane Scholar,” said Burgess.

“I want the ECU community to know I am coming strong and ready to embrace college. I am a leader who doesn’t follow the crowd.”

High school: Wakefield High School

Intended majors: Business and entrepreneurship

Current City: Raleigh

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