KENANSVILLE, NC–Local airhead Tara Shore, a newly enrolled student at James Sprunt Community College, announced Monday that she "totally want[s] to work with kids."
"Children are so important because, if you think about it, they're our future," the 20-year-old Shore said. "Kids have the biggest hearts, and if we just give them the freedom to dream and explore, they may even grow up to run the country someday."
After graduating from Kenansville High School in May 1998 in the top 70 percent of her class, the ditz spent 18 months working as a hostess at an Applebee's restaurant in nearby Everton.
"I really loved my job," said Shore, moving her scrunchie from her ponytail to her wrist. "That's because I love working with people, which is what I got to do at Applebee's, and I met all sorts of people, because all different kinds of people come to eat at restaurants. But what I really, really, really want to do is work with younger people, like children."
Deciding it was time to make her move, on Jan. 10, Shore matriculated at JSCC.
"I went back to school so I could reach out and give something of myself to others," Shore said. "By devoting my life to kids, I'll get the opportunity to touch so many lives."
JSCC academic advisor Rita Yeardley is assisting Shore in her pursuit.
"I got Tara signed up for some basic requirement classes this semester, and I told her that later she can decide between certified daycare, K-3 education, or even physical therapy or nursing with a emphasis on pediatrics," Yeardley said. "That's a lot of different options, and she seemed a little confused when I ran through them, so I may have to go over it with her again at some point."
To her advantage, Shore already has "tons" of experience working with children. "My sister Megan has two kids, Ashley and Andrew, and I just love them to pieces," Shore said. "Whenever Megan goes out, I babysit for her, and me and Ashley and Andrew just have a complete blast. Sometimes, I seriously think I have more fun playing with blocks and coloring than they do. I just get so into it. My friends say I'm still totally a six-year-old at heart."
According to Shore, adults have just as much to learn from children as children do from adults.
"Some people think that just because kids are young, they aren't very smart. But that's not true," Shore said. "They know all sorts of things. Like, there's this little boy who lives next door to me, and he was telling me all these facts about the stars and the planets and stuff. I was like, 'You should totally grow up to be an astrologer! I know you can. I believe in you.'"
"I don't agree with Hillary Clinton about how it takes a village to raise a child," Shore added. "I think kids can grow up anywhere, even in the city, just as long as there are parents and grown-ups around to help guide them."
Shore said she plans have a child of her own someday.
"I grew up in a family, so I'd definitely want one of my own at some point," the airhead said. "Of course, I'm not ready to have a kid right now or anything. They're such a huge responsibility."
Shore's boyfriend, Rodney Ingersoll, a 21-year-old physical-therapy major at JSCC, said he supports her "100 percent."
"People assume that because Tara's so hot, she's not deep," Ingersoll said. "But once you talk to her, you find out there's a lot going on inside. She could have any job she wants, but she's choosing to help children. That's so cool of her."
Best of all, Shore's goal of working with children is compatible with Ingersoll's dream of one day moving to Hawaii.
"I just love the water. It's like I was born to be in the water," Shore said. "Hawaii is so magical and tropical, it's like you're in a whole different country or something. Plus, I'm sure they have kids there, so I could realize all of my career dreams and still get an amazing tan."