Hailee Mogelnicki, a freshman pursuing her bachelor's degree in elementary and special education with a minor in math at Eastern New Mexico University, has known since a young age that she wants to help children with disabilities.
"I hope to change kids' lives for the better. I want them to know that just because their brain is not like everyone else's, that it is okay. I was taught this from a young age when I was told I had a learning disability," explained Hailee, who wants to become a special education teacher. "I want every child that goes through my classroom to know it is okay to learn at different speeds.
"I want to let my students know that it is okay to be a little different than other people. That the unique brains that they have are their own and they should love who they are," she continued.
Hailee wants to become a teacher because she had teachers that "never gave up" on her. "When I thought I couldn't do it they would always tell me that I could," she said.
Hailee was born in Mission Viejo, California, and was raised in Rancho Santa Margarita, California. She has one older brother. Her mother works in a middle school cafeteria, while her father sells health insurance to individuals that are 65 and older.
She chose ENMU because it is "far from home, but not too far." She was also happy to find out she can get her teaching license in both elementary and special education at Eastern. "[Attending] this school has been a dream of mine since I knew I wanted to become a teacher," she said.
You will usually find her in the Campus Union with her friends or at the MaxPac, a place where she can "just clear my head."
Hailee, who works at ENMU's Child Development Center, has become involved in VOICES, a student organization focused on education, and is the current treasurer. Her biggest mentor at ENMU is Yetta Massey, her first education instructor. "She made us write in journals, and she always wrote comments like, ‘Keep going, you have a very bright future.' She always had positive things to say, which made the class fun."
Her favorite course was "Communication for the Educator," because it was a "fun class and where I met two of my good friends at ENMU."
Her favorite part of being a Greyhound is that "this school makes me feel welcome and everyone is so kind to one another."
If you are interested in education, Hailee's advice is to "stay focused and to be passionate about becoming a future educator. If you have your heart in it, you will get where you to."