Haywood Community College’s Student Government Association president, Kelsi Long wants to make an impact on student lives. She is starting this crusade in her role at HCC but she plans to carry on with this mission long after she leaves the school.

As SGA president, Long is a voice for the students. “SGA is a great way to be heard,” she explains. “This is how you get your ideas out there. Unless you are willing to do something about the changes you want, you can’t complain.”

When the Associate in Arts student finishes her degree at HCC in May, she wants to transfer to Appalachian State University to major in secondary education. She plans to teach English at the middle or high school level. She is also contemplating pursuit of a Master’s degree to teach at the college level.

“I want to teach so I can have an impact on students’ lives,” Long says. “I would like to help further them to get them where they want to be. I want to play a part in it.”

The Haywood County native says one of the biggest rewards she could have in her career would be for a student to come back one day and tell her she made an impact on their life.

Long says there were several reasons she came to HCC straight after high school. “I made an economically smart decision to get college level experience close to home and family before going to a larger school. I wanted to have two years to know for sure what I want to do in the future.”

Long is happy with her decision. “The campus is beautiful, the faculty is welcoming, and I am always learning something new here.”

Wherever Long is, she immerses herself into the experience. At Pisgah High School, she was co-captain of the varsity basketball team, in the National Honor Society, a member of the Leo Club, participated in cross country, and in honors show choir. At HCC, she is also in the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

Long is a strong believer in community service. “Not everyone is as fortunate as I am. When you give back, you end up helping yourself. It makes you aware of your blessings.”

In addition to being a full-time student and SGA president, Long works part-time.