I still can’t believe that my four years at Auburn are coming to an end.
In just a few short months, I’ll be walking across that stage (fingers crossed) and moving out of the town that has been my home sweet home.
I was born and raised in Birmingham, and Alabama has given me the most amazing life so far.
One thing that has always remained constant in my life is my passion for education.
I have been working with individuals with special needs since I was a little girl.
My students are my life. When I got accepted to Auburn, I knew that I would major in special education and live out my dream of being a teacher.
But I wasn’t so sure if I’d be able to achieve my second dream of joining Teach For America.
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Junior year rolled around, and I was so excited to finally meet with someone to talk about this organization that I was so interested in.
After meeting with two of TFA’s staff members, I was more excited than ever to get my application submitted for its early decision deadline. I was so nervous.
I had no idea if I was what Teach For America was looking for. The only thing I did know was that I wanted to be a part of this nationwide movement to end educational inequity.
I wanted to pour my heart into my students and fight for their right to access the education they deserved.
I wanted to be the change I wanted to see in the world.
I applied, interviewed, and then I waited. The morning finally came where I would find out if I was going to be joining TFA.
I sat on the website all morning constantly refreshing my application until noon rolled around and I saw it: “Congratulations.” I’d been accepted.
I found out that I was going to teach elementary school in Orlando, Florida, come 2016. Tears of joy rolled down my face as I realized that all of my hard work paid off.
It’s weird — I don’t even know my students yet, but I already love them so much.
I can already tell that this organization is really a family, just like Auburn. That’s exactly what I was looking for in a profession.
The Auburn Family and Auburn’s creed has shaped me into the woman I am today.
My parents, my very own Auburn family, have provided me with a life full of love.
When I leave Auburn, I know I’ll be stepping into a phase of my life that will allow me to learn, grow, love, laugh, inspire and be inspired by the incredible students I’ll get to work with every day.
I encourage anyone and everyone who is looking for a job that will allow them to change the world and change themselves after graduation to consider joining me at TFA. I promise you won’t regret it.
To my future students — I can’t wait to meet you and invest everything I have into you.
I hope I can teach you as much as you are all going to teach me. Together we will be the change, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.
Auburn, I’ll see you again soon. Thank you for everything. Florida, here I come.
Alex Jay is a senior in special education at Auburn.
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