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

School was an absolute sanctuary for me growing up. My mom passed away when I was 7-years-old and I was hospitalized with a severe eating disorder by the age of 10. I felt like everything was out of my control as a child, except for school. At school, I knew that I was unconditionally supported with great teachers providing a great education. My elementary teachers instilled confidence in me and taught me that if I worked hard enough, I could make my greatest dreams come to fruition.
Candidly, it never crossed my mind that not every child in our country has the same opportunity until I was sitting in one of my college electives at Santa Clara University. Tears welled in my eyes as I watched a documentary about a young boy, with a much more chaotic past than mine, talk about his high school experience. He was from a very low income community and consequently attended an underfunded, understaffed, and under resourced school.
My sadness turned to anger as the young boy talked about his plans after high school. He was incredibly smart, articulate, and respectful, yet he had no dreams for his future. He was a victim of the systemic barriers in education that have been instilled in our country over time. I realized that no matter how hard he worked in school, he would face so many more challenges in order to make his dreams come to fruition simply because of the zip code he was born into. Our country and education system had failed him.
I can sit back and be angry at the unjust education inequity in our country, or I can actively strive to be an advocate in these children’s lives. I have decided to be an advocate and do everything I can to teach, learn from, and mentor the next generation. Therefore, I am beginning my next endeavor as a teacher, specifically for Title 1 schools, with the utmost excitement. I know I don’t have all the answers for how to be a great teacher, but I do have the passion and the tenacity to do whatever it takes for these children.

Kaila from Arizona
College Freshman
Arizona State University