Transferring to a new school can be challenging, but for Rayna, the warm environment of the University of Illinois made the transition an easy one. Once Rayna was welcomed with open arms to campus, she soon found her place in the College of Education, but not how you might think. When asked about her decision to become an educator, she replied, "I didn’t know for a long time. On a whim I got a job at a daycare, and this is where I fell in love with education. I knew I wanted to do this as my career." Rayna's story is a great example that you don't have to have it all figured out right away. Sometimes the longer road is the one worth taking!
A little bit about Rayna:
Q: Where is home for you?
A: I'm from Hardin, Illinois.
Q: What is your year and major?
A: I'm a senior in Early Childhood Education.
Q: What do you enjoy about the campus experience, so far?
A: I love the community at UIUC. As a transfer student, everyone was so helpful to make the transition, it made moving here so much easier.
Q: How did you know you wanted to go into the field of education?
A: I didn’t know for a long time. On a whim I got a job at a daycare, and this is where I fell in love with education. I knew I wanted to do this as my career.
Q: What do you enjoy about the College of Education?
A: The professors I have had in the Early Childhood Program have been amazing. They are so compassionate about teaching and care so much about us as students. I am so grateful for all of the amazing staff members I have worked with.
Q: Do you have a favorite professor or course? Why?
A: It’s hard to pick just one professor, but Stephanie Smith has been absolutely amazing. She is so awesome to work with! Not only is she very knowledgeable about education, but she cares so much about her students. She gives us a voice in her class and makes us feel heard.
Q: What is a fun fact about yourself?
A: I grew up in a small town in Southern Illinois, my graduating class in high school was 36 students!
Q: Tell us about your future career plans after graduating and why you want to pursue that field.
A: After graduating, I plan on moving back to Southern Illinois to teach, hopefully in a kindergarten classroom. I have always loved kindergarten because we are really helping to shape the minds of young children in the first years of their educational journey.
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