Jessica Cox has been awarded the Rudy Hanley Scholarship during the UCI School of Education 2018-2019 Scholarship Award Ceremony. Jessica is pursuing her Multiple Subject Master of Arts in Teaching. Below, she shares her thoughts about her academic journey.
I distinctly remember sitting in my third grade class when a guest speaker spoke to us about his college experience. I intently soaked up every word he had to say. For me, this was the first time that I had heard someone talk about the idea of higher education and the powerful impact that it could have on my future. This was also the moment that I told myself “I am going to go to college.”
Nine years later, in the spring of 2006, I received my acceptance letter from Washington State University. I went on to study Broadcast News, and in 2010, I became the first person in my family to graduate from college. After graduation, I went on to work as a News Producer up-and-down the West Coast. I moved from a small-market television station in Medford, Oregon, to the NBC affiliate in San Diego, and finally to KTLA 5 News in Los Angeles. I have worked with journalists from across the world, and have covered a wide variety of stories that impact schools, laws, and social issues.
However, after nine years of producing, I now want to move from covering the stories that impact my community, to working face-to-face with the children of my community. I want to be the teacher who fights for her students' success and helps them realize everything they are capable of. As a first generation college student, I have seen first-hand the importance of schooling. Education can provide stability to children, it can give them the encouragement they need to dream, and it can expose them to ideas and cultures that they may not otherwise see. Through UC Irvine’s MAT program, I am now working towards my goal of becoming a teacher who advocates for her students and challenges them to never settle.
Jessica Cox and Multiple Subject Coordinator Susan Toma-Berge