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CityU Grad Follows Her Dreams – All the Way to the Classroom
2019 is a unique year for City University of Seattle’s Commencement, not only because it’s in a new venue at T-Mobile Park, but because it will be hosting the most attendees in CityU history. The sizeable stadium will be filled with graduates and their friends, family, and loved ones, continuing a great tradition that celebrates the hard work CityU students have put into their programs. As the graduates and families travel to Seattle from all around the world, it’s an exciting time, and CityU’s 2019 student speaker, Jenna Waffensmith, couldn’t agree more.
“My whole family from Minnesota is flying in, and I’m so excited to share this once in a lifetime experience with them.”
After moving to Seattle six years ago with a degree in Human Services, Jenna knew she wanted to pursue her passion and get a degree in education. “I had been working with students with disabilities for a few years, and after moving to Seattle, I knew I wanted to work in schools. I had a lot of colleagues that went to CityU, and it was highly recommended.”
Taking the Next Step
From Jenna’s time at CityU, she has learned a great deal that she has applied to her current position as a teacher while finishing the Masters in Teaching program at a pace that worked for her life.
“The MIT performance-based program provided the flexibility; it really fit my lifestyle. All of my professors are understanding that you have to balance work and life and gave me the time I needed to finish my projects. After a year in the program, I was student teaching and Steve Brown gave me a high recommendation to a school district which helped me fulfill my dream – they offered me a full-time position, first year teaching and I was still able to go to grad school full-time.”
Many masters programs today need to have the flexibility for students to be able to work and still have time to finish their assignments, but being able to use what students learn in school and apply it directly to their career makes CityU’s MIT program that much more of a great fit.
“Balancing is a challenge, but being able to work in the field while being in school was great to apply what I was doing in the CityU classroom to my classroom.”
After Commencement and Beyond
As Jenna crosses the stage at commencement, the next chapter of her life is going to begin, and she couldn’t be more thrilled.
“I just accepted a special education position with first and second graders with autism. Between what I’ve learned in school and my current position, I’ve had a significant amount of experience that will be able to be applied to my next classroom.”
We celebrate with Jenna on finishing her degree and look forward to learning more about where her journey takes her.