I have always loved helping kids broaden their understanding. Watching a child’s eyes light up when a concept finally clicks with them is the best thing to ever witness, and it never gets old.
In 2018, I began my college journey by playing volleyball at a university in Tennessee, but ended up getting sick and having to get multiple treatments and transfusions. I had to give up volleyball and just focus on school. It was alright, but it didn’t feel like home anymore. After Covid hit in 2020, I moved back home to Alabama and decided that this is where I needed to be – this was my home.
As I looked into universities, Athens State always seemed to catch my eye, so I called. The application process was so easy and the staff was so helpful. I felt at home with the first phone call. I found new passions and career opportunities and even changed my major because I just had this pull, this desire that I haven’t had before.
Right now I’m a STEM aide at WGES and a waitress, but I want to be a collaborative teacher in an intermediate school (4-6) after graduation. I also want to continue my education by getting a master’s in special education and, eventually, get another master’s degree in leadership and become a principal, and later on, a superintendent.
Athens State is the place to go if you feel like you are on your own. These wonderful people will support you and push you to succeed in every single way, even in ways that you didn’t think you possibly could. This university is a huge reason that 2020 was my most successful year despite all that has happened.
Aleya, a first generation college student, is the Vice President of the Black Student Union and will soon be inducted into Kappa Delta Pi. She has also maintained a 4.0 GPA during her time at Athens State.