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A Student, A Teacher, A Lifelong Learner

I knew since I was young that the classroom was my happy place. Coming from a rocky home life meant that the most consistency I had came from the classroom, and from the amazing teachers I have had throughout the years.

I do not resent my past, I believe that it shaped me into the person I am today, and I am proud of the person I have become. I was the first in my family to graduate high school, first to go to college at all. Earning my bachelors degree was bittersweet because my family never understood what that meant. They didn't understand that I could use this piece of paper I have spent years earning to afford me a life away from a job that demanded physical labor. I enjoyed attending parent teacher meetings, and my parents loved hearing how I was respectful more than what I earned on an English test. But teachers knew that I loved my classes, and I think that they took notice of my efforts to the point where I wanted to be a teacher myself by age 12.

Going to college was the new frontier. I met people who carried scholarly conversations, and I found myself at seminars where I could hear academic findings in real time. It was amazing to me how many people were not only getting their education, but grinding just like me to afford college. It was a humbling experience that I appreciated because it allowed me a different perspective: there were people just like me trying to make something of their lives with college and we all wanted to stop struggling. I became part of study groups, and school clubs because I wanted to be around academia all day long. I enjoyed learning new information about the world around us: social justice, culinary, politics. You name it, I wanted to learn about it. Most of my early adulthood was about exploring the routes in my life that were there; these were the opportunities that an education afforded me. You want to be a pastry chef? Go for it. You want to be a lawyer? There's a club for aspiring lawyers and paralegals every Monday at 6pm. But education was where I always wanted to be. I loved learning, and teaching people what I learned. If I studied material, and was able to teach it to someone, I knew I would pass the next exam, and that was exciting to me.

When I learned of Teachers College of San Joaquin I saw another opportunity to learn and grow. I saw the

opportunity to climb a social and professional ladder, and that is the environment that I know I thrive in. Teaching students has been a privilege I have had for years, and to be able to inspire the next generation of learners is a concept I 100% support. If there is any way I can inspire students, parents, teachers, and other learners to continue to developmentally grow then I believe that is my purpose. I love to learn, grow, and share knowledge and that is why I am here at TCSJ.

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