Hometown: San Marino, Calif.
"The best thing about being a Belk Scholar is having the opportunity to network with some really incredible people..."
Belk Scholar Nate Harding '17 has taken on multiple leadership roles in different facets of campus life. A re-elected class president and an active Chidsey Leadership fellow, Harding also served as chancellor for Dinner at Davidson during his first year, a student-led fundraising and awareness campaign spotlighting the diverse student achievements made possible through support from The Davidson Trust.
"Serving as chancellor was one of the defining moments of my freshman year," Harding said. "The purpose really spoke to me personally, and I was thrilled to work with the people involved."
The Davidson Trust and the college's commitment to need-blind admission make it possible for talented students from all backgrounds to attend Davidson. As chancellor for the planning committee, Harding served as a project manager, handling communications with all of the students and staff involved and seeing that all action items were planned and completed efficiently.
Taking on such a role felt natural for Harding, a Southern California native who says he is drawn to leadership roles because of his interest in systems and his drive to get things done.
"I'm kind of impatient," he said. "I'm always evaluating everything around me, and if there's something I think could happen or should happen, I put myself into it."
But beyond the task-completion aspects of leadership, what Harding loves most is the opportunity to work with different types of people. Ultimately he wants a career that allows him to work with people in communities, he said, and is considering a political science or economics major with a minor in Hispanic studies or educational studies. He hopes to possibly work in the field of education policy or education law.
In addition to his current leadership roles, Harding is a staff writer for The Davidsonian college newspaper, a witness with the Mock Trial team, and is an admission tour guide.
He spent the summer after his first year working with Teach for America as part of the Education Scholars Program, which places 10 Davidson students in immersive, project-based internships with local partners in and around the Charlotte school system. The summer after his sophomore year, Harding used his Belk Stipend to participate in SIT Study Abroad's Summer Innovation Lab on Shelter Issues in Cape Town and to take a course on Competitive Strategy & Game Theory in Management at the London School of Economics.
In the fall, Harding will head to Chile where he'll spend the semester completing SIT's field-based Comparative Education & Social Change program. "As a huge fan of hands-on learning, I'm really looking forward to learning about popular, intercultural, and bilingual education in both urban and rural communities in Chile through interactions with students, teachers, parents and nonprofit leaders," he said.
In working with others, you learn a lot about yourself and about the world around you, Harding said, and along with his work on and off campus, being a Belk Scholar has brought with it countless opportunities for quality interactions.
"The best thing about being a Belk Scholar is having the opportunity to network with some really incredible people," he said. "It's insane how dynamic each and every one of the other scholars is, and they're all so supportive. Every interaction I have with another Belk Scholar is an opportunity for growth in an unexpected way."