MAT puts dream within reach

As a single mom, Wendy Davis pursued graduate studies while waiting tables at night after a busy day at a full-time job. It was a struggle, she said, but the desire to teach kept her motivated and focused through the challenges and obstacles between her and that dream.

“I only get to live once, so I plan to take advantage of all life has to offer,” said Davis.

As a supervisor over student workers at SAU’s physical plant, Davis saw students come and go. “I wanted to make a bigger impact besides [being] just the lady at the physical plant.”

Her desire has been to teach high school students, where she feels she can have the biggest impact.

Graduating in May 2013 with a master’s of art in teaching from SAU, Davis is spending her internship teaching Computer Business Applications in Hope.

“I love being a teacher and when students are writing papers in Comp I as a college freshman, they will be thinking to themselves, ‘Ms. Davis was right, we are going to be using this for the rest of our lives,’” she said.

Growing up in Magnolia, she always knew she’d attend SAU, but as a child she thought she’d be a nurse. She quickly figured out the nurse track wasn’t her cup of tea, because she can’t handle the sight of blood. Despite the fact her earliest visions of her future – which mostly pertained to drinking wine by the pool while her millionaire husband worked – didn’t come to fruition, Davis never imagined herself going to graduate school in her mid-30s.

Working for SAU benefitted her in making her dreams to teach come true.

“While I was in school, I had plenty of encouragement from my co-workers,” she said.

She is passionate about her work.

“No two days are alike and when you’re explaining a difficult concept to a student and you see that they get it,” Davis said. “It makes it all worthwhile.”

Davis is the first person in her family to graduate from college, and now is about to become the first to finish her master’s degree. She says a strong support system is what has helped her make it through school so that she could reach her goal.

“When I was so exhausted I didn’t think I was going to be able to make another day, they kept me from giving up,” she said of her friends, coworkers and family.

Davis reflects fondly on her time at SAU, but wishes she had had more time for activities on campus. She chose putting her son before her fun, but encourages other students to get involved because she feels it’s an important part of the college experience.

While she looks forward to graduating in May, she knows teaching high school students can present challenges, but she’s up for it.

“The biggest challenge in teaching ninth graders is keeping them motivated to do the work and keeping it interesting. I want my class to be the one they look forward to going to each day!”

When asked what advice she’d give to others about pursuing their education or dreams, she said, “Go for it! We only live once! If I can do it, anyone can!”

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