"There is a lot of opportunity [at E-town], no matter where you come from or what you want to do." --Allison O'Boyle
Making connections. That’s exactly what drew Allison O'Boyle to Elizabethtown College – and also one of her most notable accomplishments.
Allison, of Frederick, Md., knew she wanted to attend a small liberal arts school, but once she visited Elizabethtown College and noticed the connection between the faculty and students, she knew she found the school for her.
Allison is involved in many extracurricular activities including Circle K, peer mentoring, volunteering through the Center for Community and Civic Engagement and writing for the weekly College newspaper. She also spent a semester studying abroad in England.
An English Secondary Education major, Allison spent the spring semester of her junior year at her field placement site, the Milton Hershey School, a private coeducational, residential school for low-income children. Her teaching placement wasn’t her first experience with the kids at the school; she also served as a mentor for Moving Forward Together, an initiative of the Center for Community and Civic Engagement. As a member of this group, she mentored the teenage residents and students at the Milton Hershey School.
“We worked to get the students interested in college and prepared for everything they’d experience in their adult life,” she said. “Now that I am also teaching there, I get to see both sides of the kids – the teacher side and friendly mentor (side).”
She said the volunteer work, with many underprivileged kids, was eye-opening and taught her to empathize with students. Allison loves the personal connections she’s made with the students and enjoys when they say hello to her when she walks into the school. That empathy she learned while mentoring the students was helpful when she transitioned to the classroom, she said, because it allowed her to cater her lessons and teaching style, keeping those students hopes and dreams in mind.
“When you’re teaching and finally see the light bulb go off – it makes you feel so good. That aha moment is the pathway to the rest of the lesson and also confirmed that teaching is what I want to do,” she said.
Allison said Elizabethtown College has allowed her to make connections with people, connections between theory and practice, and connections with numerous opportunities for learning and personal growth.
"There is a lot of opportunity [at E-town], no matter where you come from or what you want to do," she said.