Hope Evans, who is majoring in childhood education with a minor in theatre at Eastern New Mexico University, discovered her love of teaching at a young age.
"My mom used to be a kindergarten teacher, and she has shared her passion for teaching with me. It made me realize that I want to be a teacher," she says. Her mother is now the Children's Ministry coordinator at First Baptist Church in Cloudcroft, New Mexico, where Hope's father is a pastor. "That has given me an opportunity to work with children," she shares. "I believe that teachers help shape the future through the children. I want my life's career to be about shaping the future."
She hopes to teach early childhood in public schools, preferably pre-K or kindergarten. Her career goals include receiving a master's degree in early childhood education, working in a position where she could help train and be a resource to other teachers and, eventually, teach early childhood education at a university level.
Two professors who have served as an inspiration to her at ENMU are Dr. John Petrone, assistant professor of educational administration, and Yetta Massey, instructor of educational foundations.
"Dr. Petrone was my first-year Seminar professor, and he helped me navigate my first semester of college," Hope explains. "When we met with our first-year Seminar professors during Dawg Days, I could tell from the very beginning that he cared about his students and wanted us to succeed. He also told us that his door is always open if we needed anything, and that gave me self-assurance that I have professors in my corner.
"Professor Massey was my Communication for Educators professor, and I could tell that she too wanted her students to have successful careers in college. Being a former educator in the school system, she was able to pass along wisdom to us. I could tell that she enjoys teaching, whether it is in a public school or university. I am so glad that my first education class at Eastern was with her.
"Both of these professors really helped me get grounded at ENMU and kindled my excitement for teaching," she says.
She offers advice to students interested in pursuing a degree in education: "First, I would tell them to take advantage of the classes they are taking. Take time to absorb what is being taught and begin to think of ways to put that knowledge into practice. The second thing I would tell them is to take advantage of opportunities to work with children when they arise and to get as much experience working with kids as possible."
Hope knew she would attend ENMU from the moment she stepped on campus. "I felt like I was more than a number," she explains. "Everyone I talked to was very friendly and welcoming. It seemed as if every staff member that I came in contact with wanted me to succeed and gave me the tools to do so. I felt a peace about coming to Eastern that I didn't feel with any other colleges that I considered attending."
The dean's list honoree is a President's Ambassador for the Office of Enrollment Services and is involved in the Christian Challenge. "My favorite part about being a Greyhound is that I have found my home away from home," she shares. "I have met some amazing people through the President's Ambassador program, the Christian Challenge and all of my classes so far. It truly makes me feel at home every time I'm on campus. I have come to think of ENMU more as my second family instead of my school."
She discusses her role as a President's Ambassador as being "one of the best opportunities I've had at Eastern. I have learned so much about ENMU and how to help future/current students in the Enrollment office. Being a President's Ambassador has given me the opportunity to meet prospective students and give tours of the ENMU campus. Not only has it given me a great office experience that I will use in the future, but I have met some amazing people who have helped guide me through my first year of college."
Her favorite course at Eastern has been EDF 110- Communication for Educators. "I was excited to come to class every Tuesday and Thursday," she says. "I learned so much about the role that communication plays in education. It wasn't like a normal lecture class; we moved around the room, performed skits, played fun games and conducted interesting research for papers all to help us gain an understanding of communication in education.
"I met some really great people in that class that I consider to be my friends," she adds. "I was very sad when the semester was over, yet I walked away with valuable knowledge that will assist me as a future educator."
You can often find Hope at the Golden Student Success Center (GSSC). "The first time that I walked into the GSSC, I knew that it would be a spot where I would spend a lot of time," she shares. "I love the atmosphere and mood of the building. I love having the opportunity to study with friends and, at the same time, grab a bagel and a cup of coffee."
The theatre minor has been in several plays in Cloudcroft and hopes to have the opportunity to be in more professional productions. "I am amazed at the number of open casting calls there are in New Mexico," she says. "While early childhood is my passion, I really love the thrill I get from playing a part on stage and being 'in character.' Who knows, maybe you will see me in one of the movies shot in New Mexico. In a minor part, of course."
Hope's hobbies are hiking, traveling and hanging out with her friends.