Update:  We first used Kelly Paige's fantastic pumpkin carving creation four years ago. Now she is a senior at North Carolina State University- Go Wolfpack! The past year for Kelly was an exciting one, starting with studying abroad at Lancaster University in England. During her time there, Kelly had the opportunity to visit over a dozen European countries. Upon her return to the US, Kelly was selected as a research assistant to help study the Blue Ridge Goldenrod, an endangered species. This study involved precarious situations, such as rappelling off cliffs to find these elusive plants.
Kelly is an involved student, having served as a mentor in the WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) dormitory, an intern in the College of Natural Resources, and now on the CNR Engaging Leaders Advisory Board. She has also studied abroad over Spring Break in Costa Rica in relation to one of her Natural Resources classes.  Kelly is motivated to find ways to channel her passion for environmental causes to make a difference in our world! We are proud of Kelly's accomplishments and glad to still be able to use her artistic talents!
Originally published October 18, 2013:
We are excited to showcase the talent of Kelly Paige Arrup! Kelly is an outstanding senior at a local college prep charter school. In addition to her rigorous academic schedule, Kelly has served as NoNickel’s resident expert on teen fashion and social media for the last four years. And yes, Kelly is nickel allergic!

In September, NoNickel launched its redesigned website. One of the goals for the new site was to be creative and fun. We had seen Kelly’s creative genius on numerous occasions and hoped she would help us with our new “creative” goal. Kelly immediately suggested having a pumpkin carved with the NoNickel logo on the home page of the website celebrating the great American tradition of Halloween. Brilliant idea! The search was on for the perfect pumpkin to display the NoNickel logo.

Not only did Kelly do a fantastic job carving the pumpkin, her attention to our corporate identity was impeccable. She was concerned whether or not the logo should include “.com” and if a TM was mandatory due to the difficulty of carving. Wow!

Finally, Kelly used her photography skills to capture her work of art in the most effective way.

While we are proud of Kelly for her never-ending list of creative achievements, in this her senior year of high school, we wanted to highlight her academic and volunteer successes as well. We have long recognized that Kelly has a positive work ethic, a mature outlook on life, persuasive communication skills, and a passion for working for social justice.

Earlier this year, Kelly’s desire to win a medal at the Science Olympiad State Finals became a reality. At the start of the school year, she commented that as a coach, she would do her best to get her Invasives team to that previously elusive goal. Through hours of study and practice, her team came in 4th place at the State Championship, held at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. Competing against 43 other schools, many of which had participated at the state level previously, we felt this was a tremendous accomplishment.

Another highlight for Kelly has been her involvement with the INTERACT Club. With the addition of a Japanese Exchange program earlier in the year, Kelly volunteered to be a buddy to one of the Japanese students. Learning about the culture of this country, along with the similarities she experienced with her new friend was an educational experience that further heightened her interest in international studies and travel.

During her junior year in high school, Kelly was able to travel to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands where she learned about exotic and endangered animal species. This trip, in addition to participation in the North Carolina Sound-to-Sea environmental studies program and an oceanography field trip to Charleston, South Carolina, has resulted in Kelly’s plans to study Environmental Science when she attends college next year.

Throughout middle and high school, Kelly has been actively involved STAC-M, a literary club that reviews new books prior to their public release. Her love of reading and writing has long been a part of what contributes to Kelly’s well-rounded outlook on life. While she isn’t sure how writing will impact her future plans, she enjoys putting ideas to paper and writes for her school newspaper along with penning fan fiction books online. Her editing and photography skills are also being demonstrated through her second year working on her school’s yearbook staff.

For volunteer work, Kelly traveled with her church youth group to Florida as part of the TEAMeffort program. While there, they worked to improve the living conditions of migrant families. With her church group, she has also worked locally with the food drives, participated in building improvements for church and youth homes, worked at the processing center for Operation Christmas Child, and volunteered for six years with Vacation Bible School. One of the highlights for Kelly was her annual participation in the 30-Hour Famine, where participants go without food for that period of time to bring awareness to poverty and child hunger throughout the world. On her own accord, Kelly raised money for Invisible Children by being a part of the 24 Hours of Silence. Invisible Children supports children who are affected by the wars in Africa.

On a more upbeat note, Kelly’s involvement with the school’s Outdoor Club led to her being named co-president for her senior year. As an officer last year with the Outdoor Club, Kelly planned and participated in a ski trip to North Carolina’s Beech Mountain. With approximately fifty club members enjoying a great day of skiing, this marked one of the most successful outings for the club.

We are proud to call Kelly one of our own! While many teenagers are viewed as self-absorbed, troubled, or difficult, Kelly is a pleasure to know. We enjoy her company, hearing her views on today’s issues, and seeing her creativity come to life!