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Who or what inspired you to become a teacher?

My first run through college was done when I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. My parents told me I had to go to college, so I did. I didn’t get much out of the classroom setting my first time around. Nothing seemed to interest me, so I skipped class fairly regularly. The “D for degree” ideology was in full effect, but I managed to grind it out and graduate on time with the rest of my class. I went to Ferris State University for Professional Golf Management and Marketing and I got my PGA certification and a Marketing Degree.

The program required me to do three different internships adding up to 18 months. During one of my internships, I worked as a Junior Golf Academy instructor, and discovered my love of working with children. Following graduation in 2011, I moved out to Colorado for a seasonal job at a country club as an Assistant Professional. The season concluded and I was left with the choice of heading down to California for a job at a course out there or head up the mountains to be a ski bum for the winter. I chose ski bum and that winter ended up being 3 years. The move made me realize that I did not like golf that much anymore and that I missed working with children. After plenty of debate I decided that elementary education was the best fit for me and I moved down to Denver and enrolled at Metro. Best decision of my life.
Excitement would be an understatement when it comes to my feelings on becoming a teacher. I believe it is going to be one of the most rewarding things I will ever have done in my life. Through the golf instruction I experienced the joy of a light bulb going off in a student’s head.  Nothing is better than helping someone who is struggling finally break through by advice you have given. With becoming an Elementary Teacher I’ll be kicking it up a notch. I won’t be teaching these kids how to play a game for a week, instead I’ll be instructing them for 9 months on how to get through life and succeed.

What do you love about MSU Denver?

The thing I love most about MSU Denver are the field placements that are required for the program. I believe that information is learned best when practiced live. There is only so much one can learn about teaching from reading and lectures. I love the fact that MSU Denver placed us in schools where we get to get our feet wet and get to practice what we are learning in the classroom with actual elementary students. The opportunity to have live in class action will make the transition to student teaching seamless.

How do you see yourself making a difference in your community?

I want to be able to put all my effort and concentration into helping kids succeed. I also don't want to have to chase down the job that pays the best. When I'm finally certified, I would like to work in lower income schools. These schools don't pay much, but rewards will be priceless. I have found that most children in low income families don't have a positive male influence in their lives. I want to be that person.

What is the importance of this scholarship to you?

Receiving this scholarship is going to help relieve the financial stress of having to work full time in order to pay for my classes. I am currently working 60 hours a week between two jobs to climb and stay out of school debt. All the teachers I talked to before I decided to go back to school warned me to do my best to stay out of as much debt as I can. They also told me it was best to save up money before I start student teaching next fall so I can put all my efforts into that when the time comes. I think most stress in life comes from being in debt and having to do things you don't want to do in order to pay bills. I don't want to have that stress for myself.

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