Paying it Forward: How I became a Teacher

In my mid 20’s, I was advised by a career counselor to explore a graduate school certification in Special Education. This next step would complement my other two degrees nicely. I already had a B.A. in Psychology and an M.Ed. in Theater Studies and the certification would make it possible for me to teach in public schools.

I felt very on the fence about whether or not to go to graduate school mostly because I did not have the money to pay for another degree. But one night, while having dinner with my dear friend, Todd, (who happened to have lost his hands when he was 12 years old in an accident that should have killed him), he convinced me, as good friends often can and do, to go back to school.  

Todd told me that he could have used a teacher with my compassion when he went through such personal pain and loneliness. Then he proceeded to tell me that he would give me the money to get a degree, knowing that I would help kids who are struggling like he did. This was a “pay it forward” moment that changed my life. I hold a deep appreciation for him and his encouragement.

I am now paying forward my gratitude for Todd and how his generosity led me to become a teacher by creating and leading the Be Brilliant U movement. I am humbled to be here and invite you to join me. If there is a way I can pay forward my gratitude to you, please let me know.

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