Catching up with Kendra LeMay '13

How are you making a difference? It can be a daunting question, but for Kendra LeMay '13, it's simple to answer.

Aspiring to be an elementary special education teacher in the inner-city of Springfield, she is on a path of helping students achieve lasting success in the classroom and in their lives. Upon graduating from Curry in 2013, Kendra immediately went on to obtain her Master's Degree in Special Education from Springfield College.
 
In the year since she graduated from Curry, she has immersed herself into her field not only by furthering her education, but by getting involved in the Springfield community through various opportunities. Knowing she wanted to work with inner-city children, she decided to become an Academic Coach at a Springfield Elementary School and also joined the AmeriCorps Program at Springfield College.

"I wanted to make a difference in students' lives that may not have all of the resources that a suburban school may have. I wanted to be there for the students and become a mentor and an adult that they can look up to."

Working with 15 fifth grade students on an individual basis proved to be a challenge, but she has acquired learning styles, knowledge, and a mindset that will benefit her own classroom for years to come. "I have learned so much about students living in poverty and even more about myself," Kendra says of her experience in the Springfield community.

Inspiration for her career choice comes from someone near and dear to her heart. When she was younger, she recalls "playing school" with her sister who has an intellectual disability. "She is the one who has inspired me the most to become the best special educator I can be."

Kendra's plans for the future include teaching upper elementary school children (3rd to 5th grade) and passing the Praxis exams (Connecticut Teaching tests) that will allow her to expand professionally.

"I think the most rewarding part of being a special education teacher is seeing the "light bulb" go on.  It is truly an amazing feeing to see the students get it after working so hard to adapt the curriculum and the way one teaches."

Kendra recalls Curry being the place where she affirmed her dreams of the future. "Curry was the place where I started my career path. I was able to learn from professors and friends that teaching was what I really wanted to do as a career. I have gained so much experience and so many friendships from Curry that will last a lifetime."



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