Write an essay where you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to become a teacher.

I have always loved interacting with children not only because they bring such happiness to my life, but because I can see the impact I am having on them. I was a nanny and worked as a teacher in an after-care program, which afforded me the chance to be around amazing kids. Knowing that I would get to see those kids everyday lifted my heart on my worst day and kept me motivated. I built such a strong bond with each of them in their own way. The feeling that they looked to me for guidance gave me great joy and a sense of purpose. That I would be a part of molding the minds of our youth. Since then, I have developed a love for special education. Children with disabilities have amazing strength that I could never imagine. I have always admired kids with special needs, leading me to pursue a career in that area. My mother is one of the reasons why I have such a passion for and want to follow this career. She was such a loving woman and did everything in her power to help those around her, especially my cousin who has down syndrome. She passed away three years ago and since then, I feel as if I was called upon to help others and to carry on her legacy. I feel the opportunities in working with special needs children are limitless. Making sure that my future students know that they are worthy, normal, and can live life to the fullest is my biggest focus. One classroom at a time, I would like to end the stigma that those with special needs are not enough. Many people fear those with special needs but they have emotions just like you and I. They feel isolated when people stare and avoid conversation. It is important to me to make sure that not only are typical children are loved, but also my future special education students. Having financial assistance would not only help me with my financial responsibilities, but it would give me the additional opportunity to commit some of my extra time to volunteer in the community outside of University of Central Oklahoma.

Hanna from Oklahoma
College Junior
University of Central Oklahoma