Army dependent Amber Birden received a $3,000 Altria Group/Senator Ted Stevens Memorial Scholarship through ThanksUSA to continue her Elementary Education studies at Fayetteville State University. Taking inspiration from her family, Amber plans to become an elementary school science teacher who will prepare her students for a life of learning.
Throughout her life, Amber has witnessed her mother’s selfless dedication to children. Seeing her mother’s impact on young students motivated Amber to major in elementary education. Amber chose a concentration in biology and explains, “I believe science is essential for all children to learn and will prepare them with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed as adults. Also, as an elementary school teacher I plan to set the foundation for their academic success.”
As an Army dependent, much of Amber’s early learning took place in Department of Defense Dependent Schools. Since she is attending FSU, Amber has the opportunity to student teach at nearby Ft. Bragg. She believes that her past experiences will help her connect with military dependent students, especially those dealing with deployments or relocation. Ultimately, Amber plans to earn her Master’s of Education and pursue a career overseas in DoDDS Europe and Pacific Schools.
For now, Amber is busy challenging herself academically. As a Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program Scholar, Amber conducts independent research through the Institute of Undergraduate Research. She is also a member of the FSU Honors Program and Honors Council. She has served as an Orientation Leader and Supplemental Instructor, and is a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and Bronco Women. As a Chancellor’s scholar, Amber also experienced a study abroad in Spain.
Although Amber is clearly an accomplished young woman, she is quick to praise her parents for instilling the values that have led her to this point. Amber says, “My father served in the Army for over 20 years. Through this time my parents instilled the values of loyalty, duty, respect, selflessness, service, honor, integrity, and personal courage, and to live by these values every day. I believe that what my father learned in the Army is a part of the reason for my success in school and my motivation to excel academically.”
Amber plans to take those values to the classroom and adds, “Growing up as a military child, I was exposed to many different cultures and had the opportunity to meet people of different nationalities, making me unbiased to different cultures. This life experience was the foundation of me wanting to promote diversity. I plan to use the skills instilled in me to help me become an effective and engaging educator.”
With clearly defined goals and the drive to succeed, Amber will surely continue to achieve academic success and her future students will be lucky to have such a devoted teacher. ThanksUSA scholarship applications for the 2012-2013 academic year will be accepted online at http://www.ThanksUSA.org between April 1st and May 15th, 2012. Potential applicants can register for an email reminder here.
To conclude this week’s Scholarship News blog, Amber explains how the ThanksUSA scholarship has positively affected her education:
“Receiving the Altria Group/Senator Ted Stevens Memorial Scholarship through ThanksUSA has allowed me to focus more on my studies, take out fewer loans, and not worry about the financial burden of college. Thank you for having this program for dependents of service members of all branches of the military. I am grateful to be a recipient of a ThanksUSA Scholarship!”