Alumni Spotlight is a recurring series of articles we post here to allow us to remember and celebrate the accomplishments of our once (and always) esteemed Huskies, who now are in the world, achieving goals they always wanted to set. This week we got a chance to have C/O 2019 graduate Janae Mcmillan speak about her experience during and after her time at UConn, here what she has to say:
“After graduating from New Haven Academy in 2016, I started my undergraduate career as a political science major at UConn. I began my experience through the Student Support Services (SSS) program, which aims to assist first-generation and low-income students, and was made aware of the many structures in place to support me during my journey. When I arrived in Storrs, I was amazed by the number of resources and opportunities available to students on a college campus. Similar to high school, I gravitated towards groups like UConn Model United Nations and the Undergraduate Student Government, but in college, there was more freedom and funding available. I also prioritized earning money and maintained two part-time positions between the Global Affairs and Dining Services departments. Through my classes, I was exposed to international relations theory and various world cultures, which led me to minor in global studies. I was able to travel outside of the country for the first time by studying abroad in Jordan and eventually Morocco.
During my third and final year at UConn, I saw posters all over Oak Hall for Teach for America (TFA), which recruits motivated individuals to teach in underserved regions. I was already familiar with the program because a few of my high school teachers were corps members. I was unsure about my career path and knew I’d enjoy working with students from a similar socioeconomic background. I was placed as a 5th grade humanities teacher in northern Rhode Island. The kids have taught me so much about respect and the importance of having fun while learning. I have grown to view myself as an educator and obtained my Masters in Education from Rhode Island College last year. My first year of teaching was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, so I have been collaborating and connecting with students virtually. Although I did not envision myself becoming a teacher, I am grateful for the process that led me here today!”
Thank you Janae for sharing your story! Be sure to look out for more of our Alumni Spotlights in the future!