Why I Give: ‘Not Only Am I Helping Prepare the Best Teachers, but I Am Also Helping Minimize Student Debt so More Future Educators Can Afford To Follow the Career They’re Passionate About,’ Says Elementary Education Major Becca Churchill ‘21
This is part of a monthly “Why I Give” series in which NC State College of Education alumni, students, faculty and staff share why they support the college.
Garner, North Carolina, native Becca Churchill ’21 has always enjoyed being around kids and working with them. In high school, she worked as an afterschool and camp counselor at the YMCA and served as a teaching assistant at her dance studio.
But it wasn’t until her younger half brothers got older that she realized her love for teaching. Churchill loved teaching them new things and having an impact on their lives. That inspired her to become an educator. In May, she will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with an English as a second language add-on licensure and a Spanish minor.
“I want to be there for my students at the beginning and show them that they can do things when they believe in themselves and put their mind to it. Without a strong support system from the start, they may go down the wrong path later on in life,” she said. “I want to be that one person who believed in them and cared for them to make that difference.”
Churchill has taken advantage of the opportunities NC State has given her; joining a sorority, participating on the Pack Clogging team, serving as a College of Education student ambassador, being a part of SAY Village as a freshman, completing the Passport to Success program and serving as treasurer and vice president of the Elementary Education Organization.
But her fondest memory from her time at NC State is her study abroad experience. During the summer of her sophomore year, Churchill traveled to Segovia, Spain, where she lived with a host family for four weeks and took Spanish courses. That experience changed her life.
“I learned so much, met so many people and traveled throughout Spain. This trip changed my life and gave me a new perspective on the world and people around me,” she said. “It allowed me to open my eyes and see that there is so much in this world to offer.”
That study abroad trip was made possible by two College of Education study abroad scholarships that Churchill received. Because of that, Churchill gives back to the college in an effort to help other students have the opportunity to participate in enriching college experiences, such as study abroad, and to be able to have the same experiences she had.
When Churchill graduates, she plans to work as an elementary school teacher in a Title I school in Wake County.
“I chose education because I want to impact the future leaders of the world and make a difference in their lives by advocating for them. I want students to enjoy learning and to know that they are capable of hard things,” she said. “I don’t want them to only take away the curriculum I teach them, but learn how to be a positive asset to society as well.”
When she isn’t studying, Churchill enjoys hanging out with her friends, going to the beach, spending time with her family, supporting the Wolfpack, watching movies, shopping, traveling and working out.
In the Q&A below, she talks about what inspired her to be a teacher, why she chose the NC State College of Education, why she supports the college and why it’s important for her to give back to NC State. The following is edited for length and clarity.
What inspired you to become a teacher?
I have always enjoyed being around kids and working with them. In high school, I worked at the YMCA as an afterschool and camp counselor. I was also a teacher assistant at my dance studio and helped out with the peewees. However, it wasn’t until my little half brothers got older that I realized I loved teaching them new things and having an impact on their lives. This led me down the path of becoming an educator.
Why did you choose to attend the NC State College of Education?
I chose to attend the NC State College of Education because of its interactive and involved program. I loved the idea of being able to step foot in a classroom my freshman year through SAY Village and continuously each semester after. I was attracted to the variety of clubs and activities to do and become involved in. I also liked the idea of a close knit community. The elementary education major has about 60 students and groups them together by cohorts each semester. This allowed me to get close with all of my peers and really build a relationship with them and my professors. I am so glad I chose the NC State College of Education and encourage everyone to apply here!
Why do you give to the NC State College of Education?
I give to the NC State College of Education to give back to the program that has already given me so much. Supporting the college financially allows more people the opportunity to have the same great experience I did within the college. By doing so, not only am I helping prepare the best teachers, but I am also helping minimize student debt so more future educators can afford to follow the career they’re passionate about. To me, giving to the College of Education means helping someone pursue their dreams.
What do you hope to see happen as a result of your gift?
I decided to give to the College of Education Excellence Fund, which is a fund that directly impacts College of Education programs, students and faculty. The dean has discretion to give the donations of this fund where she best sees fit. Due to this, I trust the dean’s decision and know that wherever she chooses to give my gift, it will be put to good use and positively impact the college. So, as a result of my gift, I hope to help someone in any way possible as I am truly grateful for those that have helped me along the way.
Why do you feel it’s important to give back?
Working in the College of Education Development Office has taught me the importance of giving back to the college. As a student worker, I was able to see firsthand how these gifts impact students’ lives and can provide opportunities for different learning experiences. Without the support and generosity of givers, many students’ college experience would be stressful and overwhelming, including my own. I am extremely grateful to have received two scholarships from the college, which allowed me to study abroad. Due to this, I give back so that other people can also have the opportunity to participate in enriching college experiences such as studying abroad.