What made you decide to pursue teaching?
I grew up in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Chicago and while I attended high school, many of my teachers were just amazing resources for me. I knew I wanted to be that for someone else—to give back to my own community.
Why did you choose UChicago UTEP?
I chose UTEP because I knew that I wanted to teach in an urban environment, particularly in Chicago where I am from, and their program was so dedicated to actually preparing teachers for that role that I knew it was the right choice.
What have you carried from UTEP throughout your career?
UTEP emphasizes actually getting to know your students: who they are, where they are from, what they want to be, and how all of that affects them as individuals. For me, it's so important to help students understand their own uniqueness, so I dedicate an annual unit to developing students' identities. It's an incredibly moving way to watch them grow.