Personal callings put these Education students on the path to UMKC
Why go to college?
Students attend college for numerous reasons -- more knowledge, better career opportunities. Or, the reasons are sometimes more personal -- to learn new skills to better teach an autistic child; to escape 15-hour work days with little chance for advancement; or to avoid coming home at the end of the day with dirt in your teeth. Those are among the reasons that led Cicely Bledsoe and Alex Gamble down separate paths to the UMKC School of Education. Watch the video above to meet Alex and Cicely and hear the compelling stories that led these two exceptional students to UMKC.
When his parents were faced with financial challenges, Alex Gamble was certain that his opportunity to go to college had evaporated. After cleaning storage bins five days a week for several months – coming home with dirt in his hair and teeth – he bought a one-way ticket to Kansas City and enrolled in the UMKC Institute for Urban Education (IUE) program.
The School of Education's (SOE) IUE program provided a four-year scholarship, tuition and books. He will graduate from the program in May 2011 with a degree in elementary education and hopes to teach third and fifth graders.
Cicely Bledsoe's five-year-old son, Micah, was diagnosed with autism at age three. Since that time, she has worked tirelessly to increase his chances of developing communication and social skills. In order to improve his overall quality of life, she enrolled in the SOE Master of Arts in Special Education Program.
Bledsoe is a second-year graduate student and will graduate in 2012, hopefully to teach students with special needs. She has gained strategies that not only help her son and others, but she believes she is a better person because of what she has learned.