Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Biology
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: High School Science
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
Current academic or teaching status:
School and school district:
Broad Ripple High School, IPS
I was born in Oklahoma, but grew up in Evansville, Indiana. I have always been terrible at sports, and my parents knew this early on, so they never pushed me to try any. Instead, they encouraged me to pursue the one passion I had: music. I stayed in band from 4th grade all the way to my sophomore year in college. I think the only reason why I enjoyed high school so much was because of the friends I made through marching band.
My original goal was to become a successful pediatrician, but it wasn’t meant to be. After transferring to IUPUI, I finally stopped lying to myself and decided it was time to pursue what I am meant to do.
I applied to be a tutor for local high schools in Indianapolis and am now tutoring at Broad Ripple high school. Each day I leave the school, I feel accomplished and excited to come back. This position has confirmed to me that I should keep pursuing my passion for teaching.
Why do you want to teach:
I have always had a strong connection with kids. This is why my first career choice was to be a pediatrician. After spending time helping out friends with random math or science questions, I started to realize that teaching came easy to me.
I am a very passionate individual and I want to be a passionate teacher. Everyone has a favorite teacher from high school. This teacher was probably the only person that challenged them to think harder, and ask deeper questions. This teacher encouraged them to do their best and loved to see them excel. I want to be that exact teacher. Not for the fame, but for the impact that I may have on my students’ lives.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
My most recent memorable moments have been while tutoring at Broad Ripple high school.
A minor, yet satisfying moment was when a student came up to me and excitedly asked, “You’re here today!?” It’s pretty self explanatory hearing that meant a lot to me.
Another great experience was while I was helping a girl with her geometry homework. She was having a hard time figuring out the concepts, so we spent quite some time trying to get it all figured out. At one point she stopped and looked up at me and thanked me for being patient with her. After an hour into it, I started to notice that something finally clicked. I could tell she really started to understand what was going on. A few moments later, she got the answer without my help. It took every ounce of me to hold back the tears as I congratulated her. This stands out because it showed me how much I care about these kids. Coming into the job, I had no idea I would tear up because some student finished a math problem.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
By no means have I lived a hard life. I have never had to skip a meal or fear for my own safety where I live. However, it has been challenging for my family to pay for three kids to go to college. I spent two years at a private university and at the end of the second year, we had to have a family discussion about our finances.
I chose to transfer to IUPUI. Though the tuition was less than a private university, it was still a challenge to pay. I asked around for information about the many scholarships that were offered and heard about the Robert Noyce Teach Science Scholarship. At that time my grades were too low to receive the scholarship. That next year, I pushed myself and applied myself harder than ever. The only thing on my mind was this scholarship. After having the grades, I sent in my application.
I received an email to meet with the chairman of the scholarship committee a couple weeks later. Not knowing this was the official interview, I did not “dress to impress.” We sat down and I told her how my semester was going and how the tutoring position was going. All of a sudden, she started talking about money; how much I would need, how much I was going to get, and what I was supposed to do.
I left the meeting speechless. After some time was spent thinking about what had just happened, I called my parents to share the good news. This program has answered two prayers for me. First, it has completely taken away the fear of college tuition from my life. More importantly, it is going to help me become the man I want to be and the teacher I am meant to be.