Name: Ariel Shaw
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Year in School: Sophomore
Major: Elementary Education
Ariel Shaw left her hometown of Baltimore and brought her enthusiasm and tenacity for life to Coastal Carolina University. The sophomore elementary education major came to our campus with an impressive history of community involvement and dedication. From the moment she arrived, Ariel allowed Coastal to help her develop even more.
“I would like to say that CCU pulls me out of my comfort zone in a positive way,” says Ariel. “I have met so many new people, tried so many new things. I have so many great role models around me and I have really grown as a person and as a student.”
Ariel admits she is fascinated by human behavior. However, there is something that intrigues her more than simply observing. As a resident adviser and Teal Trailblazer volunteer, it might come as little surprise that engaging with people is more her calling. The residents living in Teal Hall have seen firsthand the rapport she can effortlessly develop with those in her residence hall. Although Ariel plans organized floor activities, her personality allows her to have more of an impact in a natural way.
“I think the best activities are the ones that aren’t coordinated,” Ariel explains. “I will see residents in the lounge or I will see them watching a movie and we will just end up hanging out and bonding. That is the best part of the job.”
When Ariel was in Baltimore, she started a program called Blessed and Beautiful. An outreach project that sought to help inner city girls realize and reach their potential, Ariel hopes to resurrect the initiative in the Grand Strand community. It is this genuine care for our youth that leaves no doubt about Ariel’s motivation to become a teacher. However, she doesn’t want to stop at just leading a classroom; she wants to eventually lead an entire school. After earning her undergraduate degree, Ariel wants to go to graduate school to become a school administrator.
Never doubt Ariel. No matter the task or goal, she won’t stop until she is successful.
“I am not afraid to try new things and I am not afraid to keep trying something that I failed at,” Ariel says.
With an attitude like that, Ariel will continue to shine bright both on our campus and in life.
Q&A with Ariel
How did you hear about Coastal?: I had a friend in high school who applied to Coastal which led me to do my own research.
Why did you come to Coastal?: Coastal was actually not my first choice. I was waitlisted by my first choice and I did not get accepted by my second choice. I ended up not wanting to attend my third choice because I felt like it wasn’t the right place for my growth. At the time, it felt like Coastal was my only option. I decided to visit the campus and I fell in love with Coastal almost immediately. Two weeks before my move in day, I got accepted by my first choice. It was a hard decision to make, but I stuck with CCU and it turned out to be the best decision I have ever made. Coastal was always meant to be my home.
Favorite professor: My favorite professor is Cynthia Thibodeau. She was my professor for my first year experience course. She made learning fun and showed that she actually cared about her students. Dr. Thibodeau made me excited about becoming a teacher and also gave candy which is a plus.
Favorite class: My favorite class is the psychology class I am taking this semester. I have always been fascinated with human behavior. I love learning about the way we think and why we do the things we do.
Favorite aspect of Coastal?: I love all of the people here at Coastal. The best way I can explain it is by saying that the vibe everyone brings to this campus is unmatched. I am surrounded by so many amazing student leaders, people who love me, and people I look up to. The students, faculty, staff and families in our community make this institution what it is.
Favorite aspect of living in the Conway/Myrtle Beach area?: The weather! I can’t stand extremely cold weather. While it does get a little chilly here, it never gets as cold as it does back home.
Clubs/Intramurals/other extracurricular activities involved in?: I am a resident adviser in Teal Hall, I volunteer with the Teal Trailblazers, I am a member of Leadership Challenge and I am a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success.
Plans after graduation?: My main goal is to become a teacher. However, I do not want to stop there. I plan on going to grad school so that I can eventually work in school administration.
What are your hobbies?: I enjoy watching reality shows, shopping, traveling with my family, competing in pageants and trying new foods.
Do you have any hidden talents?: Many people don’t know that I can sing. My friends hear me singing a lot, but I never use my actual singing voice around them. I sang a lot in high school and I would like to start singing again eventually.
Bonus Info: In high school, I created a program for inner city girls between the ages of 7-17. I named the program “Blessed and Beautiful.” I have spoken on panels and hosted workshops in an effort to share my message. I strive to teach other young women that it is important to motivate themselves, set goals and to live life to their fullest potential. The end goal is for these young women to realize the gifts they have so that they can share them with others. Since I have been in college, Blessed and Beautiful has been on pause. However, my hope is to bring this program to the Conway/Myrtle Beach area.