When It Comes To Your Degree, It Is All About Your Purpose
After getting her associate degree in Teaching at St. Louis Community College – Florissant Valley, Mariah Hawkins came to the University of Missouri – St. Louis to get her degree in the Elementary Education. “It is closer to home, and I did not what to be too far from my family,” explains Mariah. Being born and raised in St. Louis, she did not want to leave the city and was looking for programs that correspond to her ambitions. Nevertheless, the Elementary Education Program turned out to not be a good fit for Mariah.
“At that time I was working at the Technology and Learning Center on UMSL’s South campus, when my manager asked me to take a few pictures of the BES students who were about to graduate,” says Mariah. “While listening to their testimonials it occurred to me: this is exactly what I want to do! Next day I switched the program.”
Mariah still has Elementary Education as her minor, but she feels a big difference when it comes to the Bachelor of Educational Studies. “You just need to know what your purpose is: if teaching is your purpose, then you need to teach. But if you want to engage with kids and adults in a more informal way, and traditional teaching in the classroom is not for you, BES is a perfect choice then. It is all about your purpose,” says Mariah.
Mariah’s emphasis area is Youth and Adult Development, and she is currently interning at the Ferguson Youth Initiative as a program coordinator. It is an after-school program that works with middle and high school students to get them ready for future careers. Students learn how to dress properly, how to behave during an interview, how to make their pitch, and many other things. Hawkins is the first BES student interning there, and she took the initiative to set up the internship. Hopefully, future generations of BES students can follow in her path.
“Internships are crucial”, explains Hawkins. “You learn so much and gain some invaluable practical experience, which is important for your future employment.” After she graduates in December 2017, she plans to apply for full-time job positions in a covenant house in St. Louis that works with homeless youth, and the Covering House in Jefferson City that deals with human sex-trafficking. “Everyone can happen to be in such a situation, and I really want to help,” explains Hawkins her choice.
We wish Mariah good luck in her future career!
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