By day Tyler Greene works her magic in the marketing office at Queens University of Charlotte. As communications coordinator, she’s the one who crafts the messages featured on the school’s social media sites. She’s quite good at it: one recent Facebook post garnered hundreds of views, dozens of comments and calls from local journalists interested in pursuing the story.
At night Tyler heads to class on the Queens campus, where she’s earning a master’s degree in communications with a concentration in organization brand and identity.
She dreams of one day becoming a communications director for a corporation or a nonprofit. And she’s well on her way to reaching it.
“I want to make my mark on the world and be able to give back,” says Tyler, a 2013 graduate of Parkland High School who went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Queens in 2017. “I want to be able to show my mom that she didn’t sacrifice everything for nothing.”
“Only you can define what success is for yourself. For me, that is making a mark on the world.”
Tyler, now 24, remembers a time back in high school when college wasn’t a certainty. A scholarship from Queens and student aid support from the Foundation helped her get there.
“I didn’t know how we would be able to afford college,” she says. “I am just so thankful and blessed to be in the position that I am.”
The family’s ties to the Foundation go way back, says Tyler’s mother, Michelle Greene, a senior property manager with the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem.
“I was the recipient of a scholarship when I was in school 20 years ago,” explains Michelle, a single mom who earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Winston-Salem State University in 2000. Later Michelle worked closely with the Foundation when she managed the Housing Authority’s scholarship program.
“When Tyler was a child, she went to school with me, she came to my part-time job. She saw the hustle and drive that it took.”
That hustle rubbed off. While earning her undergraduate degree at Queens, Tyler worked in the marketing office as a social media intern and volunteered for a digital literacy program at a community center in Charlotte. She taught classes for residents who didn’t have computers in their homes.
“I am very passionate about the digital divide and the achievement gap, so any opportunity that I can be a mentor to young students or adults, I really love it,” she says. “It’s important that no matter anyone’s situation, they have someone to look up to or learn from.”
Tyler graduated with honors, magna cum laude, and immediately began working full time for Queens. Last fall she began taking night classes. As a university employee, she attends tuition-free.
“I definitely take after my mom. It has all worked out thanks to so many wonderful opportunities,” Tyler says. “But I learned you have to apply yourself and do the work.”
Tyler Greene received three scholarships from the Foundation, including the Kate Allred Education Grant, the L. Gordon, Jr. and June D. Pfefferkorn Student Aid Fund Scholarship, and the Kate B. Reynolds Scholarship.