Student Profile: Meet Treneicia Gardner
We sat down with Treneicia Gardner, a current Early Childhood and Family Studies student, to learn her reasons for pursuing a major at the College of Education and find out what keeps her motivated.
| Treneicia Gardner
Thanks for talking with us! Can you tell us a little about your background?
I am from New Orleans, Louisiana and I have lived here in Seattle for about four years. I decided to attend Seattle Central Community College (SCCC) and enroll in the elementary education transfer program. I connected with Lisa Saunders, the director of the elementary education program, and was invited to join the Teachers for a New Era (TNE) program. This is a direct pipeline program between SCCC and UW, designed to help transfer students prepare to enter the education program. The TNE program offered specific education targeted advising, guidance and support, as well as a mentor opportunity. I appreciate the fact that SCCC and UW went the extra mile to ensure the academic success of myself and other students. Most of my leisure time is spent with my family. I love to bowl, go the movies, and shop. I also volunteer at youth community centers and summer learning programs. I can’t forget about spending time with my wonderful little Shi Tzu, Domino!
Interesting. So, why did you choose the Early Childhood and Family Studies major?
I chose the Early Childhood and Family Studies or ECFS major because it was closest in preparing me for my career goal of being an elementary school teacher. Even though it focuses on infant through pre-k, the foundations are the same for all ages. I’ve always liked working with kids, but I didn’t really know that I wanted to make it my career until high school. During my senior year in high school I was assigned a service learning project that was required for graduation, and my neighbor suggested I volunteer in her second grade classroom. That very decision greatly influenced the rest of my life. The elementary school was Title I, meaning most of the children had parents who were poor, homeless, in jail, or on drugs. For most of the children, school was an escape. It allowed them the opportunity to take their minds off the troubles of their daily lives. I then realized how influential I was in the lives of these children. I found a deep passion within myself that I never knew existed. Teachers often spend more time with the students than their families do. I realized that helping students attain a quality education, being a mentor and a role model, and motivating them to succeed may change their future, as well as create outstanding members in the community. The ECFS major has laid the foundation for my next step, which is the Teacher Education program.
What do you enjoy most about the major Treneicia?
What I love most about the major is getting to work with kids. Every quarter we participate in a service-learning component. We get to go in the field and work hands on with children. We also get to learn from some of the most skilled teachers in the field. I have also had the opportunity to work with many different age groups, so I have a true feel of which group I would like to focus on. I also like the staff. All of the professors are friendly, educated, and willing to help you. The advisors are always available and usually have an answer to all questions. The people in the major have become like a family and I am so happy to be a part of it.
And what are your professional aspirations? How will the major help you attain this/these goal/s?
My ultimate goal is to open my own preschool. The major will help me with this in several ways. It will give me the necessary skills I need to become a great preschool teacher. It has connected me to several professionals in the workforce. The coursework has provided me with a variety of knowledge about the development of young children and the best teacher strategies. I have also been exposed to current research in the field and I have had an opportunity to take part in some.