English Major Carrie Carbonneau has received the 2017-2018 Owen Thomas Scholarship, presented by Sue Vaughn on November 7, 2017.
About Carrie Carbonneau
My journey that brought me to realizing that I wanted to be an English teacher was somewhat roundabout. When I first headed off to junior college, I did not really know what I wanted to do. I started out majoring in music because I was good at it. I thought, "I guess this means I have to be a music teacher." A lot of my family are teachers, and although I had previously thought of pursuing teaching, it did not seem like a tangible investment to me. But when I transferred from Saddleback College to UCI, I reconsidered my major, and decided that I actually really wanted to become a teacher.
There were several things that brought me to the decision of becoming a high school English teacher. One of the most influential was working with high school students at my church for four years. And, as I went to junior college, I was trying to figure out what distinguished successful students from unsuccessful ones. I was shocked by the poor writing skills that many college students had, and I started to discover that the one thing that really held students back from success was their ability to communicate- whether it be in written or oral form. That realization, combined with my desire to help high school students, brought me to become a high school English teacher. Once I embraced this new direction, I became far more excited about it than I ever was about pursuing music. I knew that I was meant to teach.