I grew up in a low-income rural town…where a very small percentage of my classmates went to college. I am also a first-generation college student. When I took sociology courses, I learned more about racial inequality. It really opened my eyes, and I realized my passion.
Student Affairs Practice in Higher Ed M.Ed. program, Year 1
(B.A. ’06 Sociology, Texas A&M University)
Courtney taught math and English at a middle school in southeast Houston, Texas, where 92% of the 880 students are classified as economically disadvantaged. After TFA, she taught at KIPP Central City Academy and was a college counselor at KIPP Renaissance High School in New Orleans for a total of five years.
A Little Background
“I grew up in a low-income rural town about an hour from Houston, where a very small percentage of my classmates went to college. I am also a first-generation college student. When I took sociology courses, I learned more about racial inequality. It really opened my eyes, and I realized my passion. I truly believed a child’s zip code should not determine their life outcomes. Every individual has the right to an excellent education.”
One Thing She Will Always Remember
“The reality of the violence in students’ lives every single day was sobering. It’s a lot for them to manage in addition to dealing with school.”
“Working alongside phenomenal teachers, especially during my time at KIPP, made me realize that the incredible support my students received in the KIPP system did not guarantee their success in college. In fact, the six-year graduation rate for low-income students and students from underrepresented backgrounds is appalling. I am driven to figure out what support is necessary at the college level to ensure individuals from all backgrounds are reaping the benefits of a college degree.”
“I was especially drawn to the program at Curry because of the emphasis on applying theory through practical experience. I’m currently interning in the Office of the Dean of Students helping to support AccessUVa, transfer, and veteran populations here at U.Va. I always want to work with underrepresented students, although I’m not sure whether it will be at the college or high school level.”