Early on, Lauren Alexander knew she wanted to be a teacher.
“When I was younger, school did not come easy for me. I had to work harder than my peers to understand what we were learning," Alexander says. "I knew I wanted to be a teacher so that I could help my students who struggle.”
Today, she’s doing exactly that as a kindergarten teacher at Manor Elementary in Monroe.
“Being a teacher was always my dream job. I knew from when I was young that teaching was what I wanted to do,” says Alexander, 25, who is in her second year at Manor. "I could not love my school or the people I work with more. It is my calling, and I am so glad that I chose to go down this path."
After graduating from Saline High School, Alexander began the pursuit of her dream at WCC. She earned an Associate in Arts in Elementary Education degree and a Liberal Arts certificate before transferring to Eastern Michigan University.
She graduated from EMU in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education as well as a Reading Comprehensive certificate.
“Attending WCC was the best decision I could have ever made. It was a fantastic stepping stone from high school to college,” says Alexander.
Alexander says WCC’s smaller class sizes made it easier to get support from instructors when she needed it. And she credits faculty members for their caring approach.
“They truly want you to succeed. Being an educator myself, I know how important it is to build relationships with students," she says. "I loved a lot of my instructors but a few that always stood out are Hava Levitt-Phillips, Nichole and Bobby Klemmer, and Mary Mullalond. They took a genuine interest in my learning and my life. I can still say they are some of my biggest inspirations. They made my experience at WCC worthwhile and made me feel like I belonged.”
Alexander is an enthusiastic proponent of attending WCC as a first step in a person’s journey to acquire college credits, especially the financial benefits. She received one of WCC's full-ride High School Honors Scholarships, which are available to multiple students at every Washtenaw County public high school.
“I was so honored to receive that gift,” Alexander said. “It's one example of the many scholarship opportunities that students can receive when attending WCC. Starting out my college career at WCC helped to ensure my success after graduating.”
This story appears in the Winter 2024 edition of Launch magazine. See complete issue.