UnlockED, HCA to host education career event

By Katie Shepherd | Contributing Writer

Several education organizations will be present at ExplorED, including UA’s College of Education, Teach for America and charter schools from around the South.

Justin Heck, vice president of UnlockED and a senior majoring in political science and economics, said the event is aimed towards seniors who are looking for career opportunities in the field of education after graduation. However, everyone is welcome, including non-education majors and underclassmen.

“It’s a way to invest in a classroom 
setting without needing traditional 
training,” Heck said.

Heck said that one of the best ways to invest in the future of the South is to get involved with education.

“If you care about poverty and the people that are inflicted by it, education is the best way to help them,” Heck said. “The South needs good schools. There are good kids that aren’t getting good educations. The system is failing them.”

Heck said that ExplorED: Pathways into the Classroom is a great way to find out more about how to get involved with the education system in the area and make a difference in the lives of young people.

“It’s a way to give something back to someone who hasn’t been given it yet,” Heck said.

Karen Ekeh, a senior majoring in geography and the director of special projects for UnlockED, said she believes a career in education is extremely rewarding, especially in the South, where issues in the education system are rampant.

“There is very clearly a divide between people who are set up to succeed and those who aren’t,” Ekeh said. “It’s a career that means something.”

Ekeh encouraged anyone who is interested in getting involved with education to attend the event.

Mary Lieb, president of the Honors College Assembly, said HCA and UnlockED teamed up as a way to cater to the needs of the upperclassmen within the Honors community.

“So often we reach to involve freshmen and make sure they find a place on-campus, but once they’re involved in other areas across campus doing great things, Honors College Assembly doesn’t always have an immediate place in their 
schedules,” she said.

Lieb said that with the Honors College’s introduction of an education minor, it became clear that many Honors College graduates were serving communities through post-graduate education programs. Lieb said their partnership with UnlockED for this program helps to bring those opportunities even further into 
the light.

“When UA’s most brilliant students are able to reach out and touch lives through these programs, so many people benefit beyond just their classroom setting, and they may discover a passion for teaching that will carry on to impact hundreds of students to come,” Lieb said.

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