My First Generation Story
I’m proud to say, even before my graduation, I accepted a full-time teaching position at Bay City Public Schools. I’ve always had a passion for the Great Lakes Bay Region because I feel like I’m such a product of the system. I want to give back to that because this area has invested so much in me.
Having grown up in Bay City, I was no stranger to Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU). By the time I was a senior in high school, I knew that I would be making the transition from a Bay City Western Warrior to a Saginaw Valley Cardinal.
I've had a really strong connection to this community, and SVSU just felt like an extension of that. It had both a big campus feel and a small, hometown feel. Saginaw Valley has a very highly acknowledged education program, and that's what I’m passionate about. SVSU made my decision easy. Not only did I get to remain close to home and engaged with the community I loved, but I could get to do all of it while graduating debt free.
Long before I arrived at SVSU, I knew I wanted to teach. When I was in third grade, my teacher at the time—Sharron Travis—always made me feel like she just wanted me to succeed, not only in the classroom, but outside of the classroom as well. It made me feel so good, and I wanted to do that for other kids.
As a dual major in elementary education and early childhood education, I had many fieldwork experiences that have led to real world opportunities. At other universities, I know I wouldn’t have had nearly as many opportunities as I’ve had here. SVSU has allowed me to create great networks with educators and administrators while giving me hands-on experience to know what the real world and real children in a classroom are like. That has really helped me become the young professional I am today.
I am also a member of the Kantzler Fellowship—an SVSU service and learning initiative for a select group of Bay County students. I also served as the philanthropy chair for my sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha, and joined the SVSU cheerleading team as well as the National Society of Leadership and Success. Additionally, I served as an executive board member for Cardinals for Special Olympics; a co-founder and vice president of the Saginaw Valley Lions Club; and an active participant in Alternative Breaks, the Order of Omega and the Miss America organization.
I was also offered the opportunity to attend the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders in Washington, D.C., last summer. I was one of two women selected from SVSU to go. There were motivational speakers and workshops, and I also got to lobby in Congress on behalf of the American Association of University Women for a bill regarding student debt and how to refinance it.
My multifaceted education also extended internationally: I completed a study abroad trip to India over the summer of 2016. There, I spent four weeks teaching lessons to girls at the Kittur Rani Channamma Residential School for Girls. I was able to teach some science lessons there. It gave me the opportunity to see how their educational system was set up. My trip was a huge highlight for me during my time at SVSU.
This has always been the goal. I just want to teach.