If it means building an illegal chicken coup in her backyard and disguising it as a dollhouse, Abby Brockmeyer is not scared to take a stand.
The 19-year-old Maryland native spent the summer helping her dad raise chickens in a residential area next to a major highway.
“I don’t think where we live should be controversial when it comes to raising chickens,” says Brockmeyer. “It didn’t agree with that, so I pushed forward with what I thought was right.”
Brockmeyer has never been the quiet type or shy to speak her mind.
“I was never the type of person to hold back what I’m feeling from someone,” she says. “If I’m thinking something, I’m going to tell you—sometimes whether you want me to or not.”
It is this assertiveness that landed the East Carolina University junior a job at the university’s newspaper, The East Carolinian, as an opinion and advice columnist.
“I thought maybe I could help people if I write for the paper,” says Brockmeyer. “Sometimes all people need is advice.”
Brockmeyer, a communication major with a concentration in interpersonal relations, plans to use her TEC experience to reach her goals after graduation.
“My dream is to work for National Geographic,” she says. “I want to travel and report and write for the magazine.”
And Brockmeyer says she’s perfect for the job.
“I’m very serious and determined when I need to be, but I’m also very quirky,” Brockmeyer says. “And I’m loud. I just can’t help it.”
But Brockmeyer admits her loudness can sometimes cause her trouble.
“I used to get kicked off the school bus repeatedly as a kid,” she says. “I wasn’t allowed to ride anymore.”
“Excessive movement and talking,” Brockmeyer says. “The driver couldn’t shut me up.”
Her loudness can sometimes also cause her good.
“I’d love to be on a reality TV show,” she says. “It would be such a fun experience, and I’d definitely get picked. I’d provide awesome entertainment. I’m never dull.”
Brockmeyer’s friend of two years, Brittany Harler, agrees.
“Abby’s sense of humor is hilarious,” Harler says. “She tells the best stories, and she enjoys making people laugh.”
Humor isn’t the only standout quality Brockmeyer possesses.
“Abby does have a fun personality, but that’s not all there is to her,” says Harler. “She’s very caring. She’s the type of friend who would help you for the soul purpose of helping you. She’s been there for me to call her at any time.”
Although the funny girl enjoys clowning around, Brockmeyer’s family comes first.
“I have one sister, and she’s my best friend,” she says. “My mom and dad are divorced, but I’m still close with both of them.”
But to Brockmeyer, the most important value of family stems from her grandmother.
“My grandmother is a breast cancer survivor. She’s had a six-way bypass. She’s had a heart attack. She’s had ten kids,” Brockmeyer says. “She’s struggled her whole life. She’s the strongest person I know.”
Strength is a quality Brockmeyer says is rare.
“You don’t see people like that anymore,” she says. “If I can be like that just a little bit, I’d lead a happy and fulfilling life.”