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Andrew Gass '18 - English/Writing, Education
Australia, China, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Peru, Spain, Taiwan and Tanzania...
For most people, this would be a global destination wish list, or even a recap of a lifetime spent traveling. But for Andrew Gass '18, it's only the beginning.
With a passion for writing, the Curry English/Writing major who was adopted from Guatemala as a baby and calls New Hampshire home has used his worldly adventures to inspire his prose.
"I really enjoy personal writing. Because I've done a lot of traveling in my life, I can take those experiences and create stories based on them; whether it is writing about something I've seen along the way and describing how I feel about it, or being creative and spinning it into a fictional story."
Andrew has also done plenty of community service during his global travels, including working at an orphanage, building schools, mentoring children and more. These encounters, as well as others more close to home, have encouraged him to pursue his other love, teaching.
"My mother is a first grade teacher and my father is a college professor, so I always enjoyed writing and reading growing up. But it was my 8th grade English teacher, Mrs. Rief who really pushed me and got me to write about things that I didn't know I could write about. And ever since, I've been trying to emulate her."
Andrew, who also chose to minor in Education at Curry, is spending his summers as a teaching assistant for the BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) Program at a school in nearby Dorchester, helping teach 6th graders math and English.
"I'm enjoying teaching so much. When I see that light in the students' eyes when they finally get something, that's one of the greatest feelings ever. The fact that you're helping somebody move forward in their education is priceless."
Andrew's enthusiasm to pursue teaching professionally after Curry has been driven by two of his favorite Curry professors, Dr. Kristen Getchell (English/Writing) and Dr. Joanne Seltzer (Education).
"I formed a really great bond with both of them in and out of the classroom. Dr. Getchell's teaching style just really hit home with me. I was able to grasp the way she presents her information really easily. And, of course, her door is always open after hours."
"Dr. Seltzer is incredible. She advised me to pursue the BELL Program opportunity and is just someone who I have connected with really well. I'm so thankful for both of them."
Despite Andrew's busy academic and professional schedule, he is also a member of the Curry College Men's Soccer team and an Orientation Leader who mentors incoming students. And he plans on getting even more involved in the coming semesters.
"Despite all of the experiences I've had abroad, I was never really involved in high school; never really put myself out there. But Curry has given me the confidence and the comfort level to take that extra step and do the things I never thought I would do. That's what's so great about Curry; it's a community that doesn't hinder you, it does the opposite, it opens you up to new experiences."
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