Don Bauc Commitment to Service
Recipient Name: Hannah Geppert
Post-Secondary Institution: Southwest Illinois College for Associates degree, with transfer to Southeast Missouri State University
Name of Degree: Bachelors in Special Education
What are your short-term (3-5 year) and long-term (5-10 year) career goals?
Short term: Continue and complete my Bachelor’s degree, hopefully with a 4.0 GPA. I would like to begin my teaching career in a low-income district to qualify for the teacher loan forgiveness program so I am not burdened by student loans straight out of college.
Long term: Ideally, I will stay in the Southern Illinois area and find a position working in an elementary school as a Special Education teacher. I can’t imagine I would continue my education towards administration but would consider another area of education to widen my options into adulthood.
How do you intend to continue your commitment to community service?:
I will continue to volunteer at Camp HIS KIDS and other events through this organization. I also hope to use my availability of college scheduling to work with Leaps of Love, another organization assisting families dealing with the aftereffects of children with cancer. I have met the founder and would really like to find time to volunteer at their events as I really like her style of family involvement. Additionally, I would like to do some observations, leading to volunteering at BASCC (our local special needs services center).
In your opinion, what is the most rewarding part of community service?:
Selfishly, I gain more out of my time with HIS KIDS than I feel I give to them. I work with families affected by childhood cancer and I am complaining because I had a bad hair day?!?!? It really puts things in perspective when working with children who have concepts to deal with that adult’s struggle with. When I hear one of my campers say they were able to just have fun or when they do something for the first time and shine in the praise I offer, it makes it very rewarding. Regarding my work with students who have special needs, the most rewarding is seeing how others seek out friendships with them rather than shy away from interactions.
Do you plan to stay involved with SkillsUSA Illinois? In what capacity?:
As I am a student at Southwestern Illinois College, I hope to continue competing in the Early Childhood Education contest to continue practicing the skills I need to be successful for a field in teaching. In the three years I have been a member, I have seen a dramatic increase in my abilities required of the contest, as well as, personal skills such as public speaking, interviewing, leadership, and time management. My involvement in SkillsUSA has given me confidence in my abilities and I hope to remain a member/competitor and continue to grow. Once I am beyond the community college level, I would love the opportunity to return as a judge and/or alumni member.