ACCESS Students in the News

Oncology nurse Hannah Sheets ’14 returns to serve Boone

BOONE, N.C. – Hannah Sheets Adams’14 is a member of the third graduating class of nurses from Appalachian State University’s Beaver College of Health Sciences. Her first position out of college was in the oncology unit of Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem. Two years later she returned to work at Watauga Medical Center’s radiation oncology department.

The former ACCESS Scholar has a long history with the High Country and with Appalachian. She had her first exposure with Appalachian as a high schooler in the university’s Upward Bound program, which provides academic support to high school students so they may complete high school, enroll in college and successfully obtain a college degree. Qualifying participants come from families who meet federal income guidelines, or will be first-generation college students.

Adams said her parents told her they couldn’t afford to send her to a four-year university, but “the ACCESS program landed in my lap and here I am. I graduated with no student debt,” she said.

Originally from Millers Creek near Wilkesboro, she received the university’s first Spirit of ACCESS Award for embodying the difference the ACCESS scholarship program was created to make in someone’s life. The award included $1,000 and a medallion.

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After her first job in Winston-Salem, Hannah Sheets Adams ’14 returned to Boone to work in the Watauga Medical Center radiation oncology unit.

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ACCESS Scholar saves Ocean Isle Beach turtles

BOONE, N.C. – ACCESS Scholar Jordan Boles, who is from High Point, is majoring in communication with an emphasis in public relations.

With support from ACCESS and a $5,000 grant from the State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) Public Service Fellows program, she was able to complete an internship with the Ocean Isle Beach Sea Turtle Protection Organization (OIBSTPO) in Brunswick County last summer.

The opportunity to help save sea turtles has inspired her career plans. After graduating in 2018, she said she wants to pursue a job in marketing at a nonprofit with a focus on the environment or for an environmentally conscious company.

“Growing up was hard, I didn’t get to vacation at the beach as often as other kids. That made moving to the beach an absolutely incredible experience,” she said. “That was my ability to be a normal student and move and immerse myself in the internship and not have to worry.”

While an intern with OIBSTPO, Boles served as the face of the organization, talking with local news outlets about turtles, planning festivals and educating the public about the sea turtles that frequent Ocean Isle Beach.

One of Boles’ most vivid memories is receiving a call after a bad storm. A group of baby turtles had hatched and needed help getting out to sea. Boles and other volunteers went to the beach, gathered and placed the turtles in a cooler and swam with them into the ocean.

“The sea turtles took me to a great place,” she said. “I want to use my marketing skills to market the idea of taking care of our environment; specifically, our oceans and their beautiful creatures.”

High Point native Jordan Boles, a communication major at Appalachian, spent her summer as an intern with the Ocean Isle Beach Sea Turtle Protection Organization in Brunswick County. 

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Participants in the Ocean Isle Beach Sea Turtle Protection Organization pose with sea turtle eggs. From left, Deb Allen, assistant island coordinator; Jordan Boles, Appalachian intern; and Nanette Martin, volunteer. 

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