My very first introduction to the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) came from one of my professors at Montgomery College (MC). Prior to then, I was studying electrical engineering, until I later discovered that I had a passion for education. I had always been around children — I am the oldest of three, which required me to take care of my siblings from time to time. I had also been a part of numerous summer camps as a counselor and even taught martial arts at a point in time. Teaching had always been something I loved to do, but I had never considered it as a future career. However, I decided to take a leap of faith and pursue teaching, and as it turns out, this is what God had planned for me.
I instantly fell in love with the teaching program at MC and had plans to set myself on a path to continue my education by completing my bachelor’s in Elementary Education/Special Education through Towson University at USG. Unfortunately, my plans got derailed due to my own bad academic habits at the time — my grades were just not high enough to get into the Elementary Education/Special Education program at USG, so I opted to take my first fall semester (in 2021) at Towson’s main campus in Baltimore. Living in Gaithersburg, I would commute to Towson by train 2-3 times a week. Through God’s grace, I was able to balance a new marriage, a part-time job, and full-time schooling. During this process, Towson’s program coordinator at USG had reached out to me to see how I was doing and encouraged me to re-submit my application. My time at the main campus really helped me to dust off the bad habits and learn how to manage my time more wisely. I was definitely in a better position to apply, so I did, and ended up being accepted for the fall 2022 semester.
I chose Towson University because it has one of the best education programs in the country. To be able to get that same type of rigor and education here in my neighborhood is a blessing. Here at USG, the Towson program has a strong partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). Not only are we getting classroom experience, we have opportunities to network and put our best foot forward in a public school system that is ranked top-ranked in the State of Maryland. In addition to the convenience, a big factor in my decision to pursue my program USG was for the affordability — the cost for our education is lower than the main campus because there are less fees and the shorter commute, but students are able to receive the same education locally.
At USG, our program is designed to help us become the best teachers we can be. Through internships, we have the opportunity to learn from seasoned educators who are eager to mentor the next generation of teachers. The program provides us with experience in both one-on-one and group lessons, and as we progress, we gain more responsibility with guidance from our mentor teachers. Ultimately, we are prepared to take on our own classrooms with confidence.
My anticipated graduation date is May 2024. After graduation, I hope to work within the local school system as a first-grade teacher. I also have aspirations to become a math specialist and also a high school teacher, where I would teach African American history.