Hometown: Kuna, Idaho
Major: Elementary Education
Anticipated Graduation: May 2018
Because of CWI: “I have new opportunities and my family has a better future!”
Michelle was a stay-at-home mom of three boys for ten years before deciding to get back into the workforce. A job as a paraprofessional, working with special needs students, seemed a great fit, and she began looking into the education required for jobs in her local school district.
“I never imagined myself as a teacher,” she said. “Having a son with Autism and another with severe ADHD and behavioral issues, I had been at the schools quite a bit.”
Beginning her journey at College of Western Idaho (CWI) in 2016, Michelle was on her way to earning an Associate of Arts in Elementary Education. She knew going to school would be a big change for her family and would require sacrifices.
“I put a lot of activities that I enjoyed doing pretty much on hold for the last two and half years,” she said. I had to learn how to intertwine multiple schedules – classes, study time, and work-study hours for myself; school activities, therapy, and counseling appointments for my kids; and my husband’s schedule.”
Life as a student was busy, but filled with many, memorable experiences including volunteering and presenting during the College’s annual Connections Project, spending more than 60 hours observing in K-12 classrooms, and 20 hours of service learning at Gateway Elementary in Boise.
“I attended several fun events on campus with my family – Halloween, the solar eclipse, and information fairs – which enticed my husband to start classes in the Machine Tool program,” she said. “My son also plans to attend CWI in a couple of years.”
Michelle hopes to gain employment as a paraprofessional following graduation. She plans to continue taking classes at Boise State University to earn a teaching certificate with an emphasis in Special Education and History.