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Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Over the next few months, the College of Education will be featuring a number of our student ambassadors. The purpose of the program in which these students participate is to represent the College of Education at UTA and community recruiting events. Student ambassadors communicate basic knowledge about the college and the university, but more importantly, they share their unique collegiate experiences with potential students.
Today we’re featuring Shelby Reedy, an EC 6th ESL Junior from Fort Worth.
Hi everyone! My name is Shelby, I’m 26 years old and I’m a junior here at UTA. I live in Fort Worth with my 7-year-old son Brenden, and our dog Josie! I’m happy to share with you a little bit about me, and my journey here as a student and an ambassador in the College of Education.
I always wanted to make an impact in this world somehow, and I wanted to make a difference. I completed my K-12 education in the small town of Everman. This school district is a giant family full of loving and dedicated teachers and staff. This community is under-resourced and underserved, which has led to high poverty rates. Many of my teachers knew that the community in which I lived was difficult. They made me feel loved and gave me hope which made a world of a difference. These teachers opened doors for me because before their influence, I had no idea of my own capabilities.
I had my son at 18, thinking I could never attend a University while being a mother, but I did it and was welcomed with open arms. I attended Tarrant County College where I received my Associate of Arts in Teaching. My grandfather who raised me would watch my son for me while I went off to class, and it finally paid off for all of us! My grandfather was the one who suggested UTA because my transfer would be smooth and easy. I took a campus tour and met with my advisor Teaira Little. She helped ease my worries about my GPA and financial aid. I just knew in my gut that UTA was the perfect school for me. Once I began taking classes on campus, I loved the atmosphere and how great it was to just sit under a tree and enjoy the sunshine right in front of the library!
I could balance being a mom, working and going to school, until my grandfather was diagnosed with stage 4 Esophageal Cancer in January 2017. I took him to his radiation appointments and took care of him while going to school. Then in March of this year, my dad suddenly passed away of a stroke. The hardest thing was having to tell my grandfather that his son just passed away knowing that he was already experiencing so much physical pain. My grandfather passed away just three weeks later and that broke me in every way you can imagine. I do not know how I managed to stay strong and push through my emotions. I not only had to help my son but also keep up with my classes without dropping. I managed to pass with all B’s. It was a miracle, but I felt almost like a robot. I always tell people, you’re capable of doing greater things than what you really think because I am a testament to that. If I can survive Spring 2017, you can survive anything, trust me!
I chose teaching because I hope to change the way we see education and make a difference in someone’s life. If we give children more access to books, technology and opportunity, there’s no telling what they can achieve! I hope to be empathetic to my future students as well. I’ve learned that often these kids just want someone to listen to what they have to say. I want to be that listening ear and help them face those challenges they endure day in and day out. I would like to help my students accomplish their dreams and show them that they can be independent someday. Teaching is a responsibility I am honored to take on and one that I take seriously as this is the future of our nation. My classroom will function from a combination of love and learning where students feel comfortable expressing their ideas while embracing their differences. I get emotional sometimes, thinking that some students don’t have the same access to resources or opportunities. My goal is to change their lives so they can grow up and give back to their community as well. What happens in the classroom today will impact the world tomorrow and I firmly believe that! I’m on a mission to disrupt the norm, and make the classroom a whole experience that will inspire students to unlock their potential. If you ever doubt that teachers lack passion and fuel, then come find me hanging around campus and I’ll definitely change your mind!