By Kittie Buck
When I was asked to write a “Where Are They Now” article for the CCTA magazine, I started reflecting on my journey through higher education. It has been quite an adventure in which I have learned a lot about my future career as well as learned about what it is like to be a responsible adult.
When I entered college in the fall of 2006 I enrolled at San Jose State University (SJSU), but I was not sure how I was going to pay for college. Thanks to scholarships, such as the ones that CCTA generously awarded, I was able to finance my education. These scholarships allowed me to take out minimal student loans and work a reasonable amount so that my focus could remain primarily on my studies. As I am finishing my graduate school career, I have realized exactly how precious the scholarship money was. After almost 12 months, and I won’t say how much I have accrued in student loans, I realize how lucky I was to be awarded scholarships during my undergraduate education.
While I was enrolled at SJSU, I studied Child and Adolescent Development. I knew that I wanted to be a teacher and figured that studying child development would be a wonderful place to start. Although teachers and family members had always told me I would make a great teacher, I fought the idea at first. Why would I want to teach children and have to go to school for the rest of my life? By the time I reached college, I had gained experience tutoring and working with children and I knew that I had to be a teacher. I was not interested in any other career. The fact that I would be “going to school for the rest of my life” actually became a reason why I wanted to be a teacher. I love learning, sharing my passion for learning, and I know that I can make a difference by helping children prepare for success in our changing world.
I studied passionately at SJSU and in December 2010 I graduated, Summa Cum Laude. I had seven short months off when I took the next step towards achieving my goals and dreams. In July 2011, I began attending University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) where I have been earning a multiple subject teaching credential and a Master of Arts in Education. In July 2012, I will be finishing my time at UCSC and finally be ready to start teaching in a classroom of my own. I can hardly believe how fast the time has flown by. It seems like just yesterday that I was in high school deciding where I would go to college and what I would study and now I’m entering the world as an educator.
I know that my grandfather would be proud of me. My grandfather, Charlie L. Collins, owned a trucking company in Morgan Hill and was a member of CCTA (then known as the California Dump Truck Owner’s Association) for many years. He was always supportive and had encouraged me to become a teacher from the time I was attending elementary school. Every time I brought home my report cards, he would take me out for “an ice cream cone” to celebrate my A’s. He passed away in May of 2007. I can only imagine that when I get my diploma in July we would have celebrated with a banana split or a brownie sundae, an extra special treat for my great accomplishment.