By Kristen Forbes
Occupation(s): AULA Education Department work study employee, public school student teacher, karate instructor
AULA Affiliation: BA ’13, Multiple Subject Teacher Credential ’13, AULA Opportunities Grant recipient
What are your jobs?
I just started as a student teacher at El Rodeo School in Beverly Hills. I have been observing in the classroom this past quarter and am extremely excited to begin student teaching. The students are so amazing. If a child gives you a hug, you must have done something right. In the Antioch University Los Angeles Education Department, I perform many different jobs. I take care of normal office work such as copying, scanning files, filing paperwork, etc. But I also do many other jobs, from managing the children’s library to attending the faculty and advisory board meetings for the Department.
Describe the main project or task you did today.
Today I was working on getting things ready for the 2013 Horace Mann Upstanders Award and Literature Conference. I emailed the authors and their publishers about the schedule for the day of the conference and asked a few of them specific questions about their favorite books. After being in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps and helping people in their communities, it is so amazing to be working on a children’s literature conference that focuses on Upstanders (those who recognize injustices and act in ways to right the wrongs). Social justice is what Antioch University is about; being able to help put together an event that encourages children to stand up for what they believe in, through literature, is really amazing and important to me.
What’s your favorite thing about AULA?
Easy: the people. Everybody at Antioch University is committed to helping each other and the community. The people here are amazing. When I have a question, there is always someone there to help me out. I have never seen such caring people at any other school.
Tell us about the Antioch Opportunity Grant you received.
As a BA student, I received an Antioch Opportunity Grant, which is based on financial need, academic excellence, and service to community. Growing up, I was taught the value of community service by teaching karate to underprivileged children. When I was at the University of Arizona, I created a free women’s self defense program because of the troubling rape statistics. After I left Arizona, I felt stuck trying to find the right school for my education. In that time I heard of a program called AmeriCorps. I immediately joined and spent ten months living in small communities across the southwest. The feeling of working with people dedicated to making the world a better place is not easily forgotten.
What makes you tick?
I guess I am kind of old-fashioned. I believe in honor and morals and I really try to do the best job I can at whatever I am working on. It all started because I was born with a severe speech impediment, which took many years of rigorous speech therapy and perseverance to overcome. This is why I volunteered to be part of the Student Disciplinary Committee at AULA. After two decades studying karate, the masters say my skills are great – but my heart is what makes me stand out.
What do you wish people knew about you?
I wish people knew about my AmeriCorps experience. I received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for performing additional community service during the program.
How did you decide on AULA for school?
The mother of one of my childhood friends is a former professor at Antioch University, and she told me about it just before I left for AmeriCorps. During AmeriCorps, I planned to come out to Los Angeles for a weekend and was able to schedule a meeting with Admissions.
Did you catch yourself having any daydreams today?
No, karate has taught me to stay focused.