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Student Success Stories

PELP students work to create experiences throughout their college experience that highlight the tenets of the program: leadership, service, honesty, integrity. Our students seize opportunities such as internships, service learning courses,and independent studies to go above and beyond within their respective fields to showcase what being a PELP student means. 

Here are some of our students and their stories highlighted. 


Annabelle Spencer graduated in May of 2022 with a BA in History and minors in African-American Studies and Women's and Gender Studies.  She is now pursuing a master's degree in history at George Mason University.  As a student here at APSU, Annabelle worked with Free for Life International as an internship opportunity. Free for Life International is an organization that works to combat human trafficking. Their response and prevention plan is divided into five direct actions: outreach and awareness education, prevention, border monitoring, shelters, and scholarships. Free for Life has developed the first curriculum of its kind, applicable and able to be translated between different languages about the identification of trafficking victims and how to help them. Free for Life representatives travel the world holding classes and training instructors. Annabelle's role will focus on education, which she names as "probably the biggest piece of prevention comes with education." Annabelle's job will be under the education and curriculum division doing research on specific communities so that the curriculum the organization brings to them is specific and relatable enough to their everyday experiences. For more information on Free for Life, please visit their website here.


Bekah White is a senior who completed an internship with the Hellenic Institute for Cultural Diplomacy - USA. The Hellenic Institute for Cultural Diplomacy - USA (H.I.C.D.) is a non-governmental organization based out of Athens, Greece. They work closely with the greater Nashville community and different academic and scientific organizations around the world to foster communication between cultures. Bekah's role within the organization was to market the different events the Institute holds and create the designs for the Institute regarding posters and other media for information on their events. Bekah began her intership as a sophomore; she designed flyers and posts for the inaugural event: "Illuminations: 1821-2021" which celebrated the Bicentennial of the Greek War of Independence. Bekah credits PELP and Dr. Winters for the internship, saying, "It was super exciting, and I was so glad to be working with Dr. Winters and the board at H.I.C.D. I couldn't have imagined getting to do something so great at such a young age, but here we are and it is all thanks to PELP!" For more information on the H.I.C.D., please visit their website here

Claire Layne graduated from APSU in May of 2021 with a degree in animation.  Since graduating, Claire has been working for Americorp.  In the spring of her senior year, Claire produced an animated film called Sigaso, that has now been accepted to 18 different international film festivals.  You can read about Claire's work and hear from her here.

Mackenzie Carr

In May of 2023, Mackenzie earned a Bachelor's degree in Actuarial Science, one of the most challenging majors on campus.  She maintained a 4.0 GPA while serving three years as the president of the Student Organization Council among other offices in various clubs. She served Honors and PELP as the coordinator of service projects and academic events in the Commons. Mackenzie did an internship with Aetna Insurance in Atlanta, GA, and that led to a job offer before she graduated!  She is now happily employed at Aetna in Atlanta working in her field.