NewsWire

UHV Home Page Newswire Archives

Archives | News Releases | UHV Home

 Date: July 28, 2009 Contact:  Maggie Denney, Special to UHV

Share:  E-mail to a friend.

UHV education major wants to help students from low-income families


 

Yasmina St. Jean

University of Houston-Victoria education major Yasmina St. Jean wants to be a teacher after she graduates so that she can help students from disadvantaged families succeed in school.

 

“I grew up in a low-income family, and I know how tough that can be,” the Victoria resident said. “I also know from experience just how special it feels when a teacher doesn’t just tell you that you can do it, but believes that you can do it.”

 

Last school year, St. Jean was one of UHV’s first recipients of a Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant. The grants provide up to $4,000 a year for students who agree that after they graduate, they will teach in high-need fields in schools that serve children from low-income families.

 

To get the grant, teachers must agree to serve for four academic years in a low-income school in one of the specific high-need teaching areas: bilingual education, foreign language, math, reading specialist, science or special education. Students who fail to meet those obligations must pay back the grant as an unsubsidized federal student loan.

 

In addition to taking classes, St. Jean is a substitute teacher for the Victoria Independent School District.

 

“I began substitute teaching in 2008, and I really enjoy it,” she said. “It was pretty scary at first because I was afraid of not knowing what to do, but it became easier with time and practice.”

 

She said the hardest part about substitute teaching is getting a class accustomed to her expectations only to have to start again with a new class.

 

“The good thing about that is I do get class management experience in a variety of settings, and I also have the opportunity to see and experience many different approaches to teaching,” St. Jean said.

 

She enjoys working in public schools because she is exposed to many creative ideas.

 

“I may find those ideas useful when I begin to teach,” St. Jean said. “Substituting, to me, is like a hands-on classroom observation.”

 

St. Jean is a member of Gamma Beta Phi honors society and is on the Dean’s List. After she graduates, she plans on teaching English as a Second Language classes while working toward a master’s degree in education.

 

The UHV Outstanding Student is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, contact UHV Communications Manager Paula Cobler  or call 361-570-4350.

 

 

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region, offers courses leading to more than 65 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Education & Human Development, and Nursing. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus as well as teaching sites in Fort Bend, Harris and Montgomery counties, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. Since its founding in 1973, UHV has provided students with a quality university education from excellent faculty at an affordable price.