In the article published by the University of Denver, you stated that your goal was for your students to "see that they can do whatever they want." How important is it to you to be an example of that?
"It's incredibly important for my students to see me as an example of someone who chose their own path (albeit in a VERY indirect way). In the end, you are the one who has to live with your life/career choices so it should be a path where you're standing in your own truth."
How did you come to find a passion in teaching? he UD article mentions that your interest in teaching was triggered by such events as being published along with Professor Kutateladze - what about that process triggered your interest in teaching?
"Honestly, I've thought about being a teacher since I was a child but it wasn't until my 9th grade biology class that I really saw what learning was supposed to be like. That class got me thinking about not only what I was learning but why it mattered. The emphasis on projects focused our efforts and required us to think creatively, communicate, and problem-solve, which is the vast majority of teaching anyways."
Did you find opportunities during your time with City Year to share your passion for science? If so, how did you share it, and whom did you share it with?
"When I was a corps member, I was lucky enough to work in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade science courses so I got a lot of opportunities to share my interest in science. I was able to support students in science fair projects, design activities and even teach whole class lessons. Our school even had a CY planned "Bring your parent to school night" which allowed us to lead lessons for students alongside their family members."
If you had to pick 1 word to describe what 'STEM Education' means to you, what would it be, and why?
"To me, 'STEM Education' really comes down to creativity. Students have to be able to think in new and creative ways as well as apply their knowledge accordingly. Without creativity, our society won't be able to anticipate and solve the problems that we will inevitably face."