Amber Hall struggled to find her place at CU Boulder and her path, until she found the School of Education and the Elementary Education major.
“I chose CU’s School of Education because of their principles, as they were principles that I tried to name and ground myself in for so long: justice, equity, inclusion, humanization, and diversity,” she said.
Originally trying out various STEM majors and other career tracks, Hall, a first-generation college student, started feel stuck until she took an education elective, School and Society, that gave her words and validation for her experiences and upbringing as a first-generation college student with a history of struggling in school, identifying as a student with disabilities. That course was the reset she needed to realize that the change she aspired to could be accomplished as an educator.
“This course made me take a step back and reevaluate my experiences in school, the inequity I had faced and that my foster siblings and siblings faced, to take action and reimagine education as an enjoyable place, where everyone from anywhere, going through anything is welcomed, heard, and empowered,” she said.
Hall is now an Outstanding Graduate for the Elementary Education program, and faculty nominators know she is an exemplary elementary educator and advocate for students because of the depth and seriousness of her preparation for working with children.
Hall takes the initiative to design and facilitate meaningful learning experiences that embody her commitment to activism and advocacy for the rights of all children to think, speak, learn, and thrive. She approaches her work as an educator with humility, critical consciousness, and genuine commitment to children, families, and community members.
Graduating means so much to Hall, her family, and her future students. Come fall, she will be teaching 3rdgrade Montclair School of Academics and Enrichment in Denver Public Schools, where she looks forward to being the kind of educator she needed and deserved as a student.
“Knowing that my future students will have a place they belong, are loved, welcomed, heard, and appreciated drives my passion for my work after graduation,” she said. “This was something I desperately needed in elementary school, and I am committed to fostering. Additionally, knowing I can learn beside my students and colleagues drives my passion for my work.”