This Spotlight series recognizes a UW-Fond du Lac student’s academic achievements and personal story. Students are nominated for this spotlight by faculty and staff.
Abbey is an education major who wants to encourage children never to give up on following their dreams. While a UW-Fond du Lac student, she participated as a Living Lab Initiative research assistant at the Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac with Dr. Kayoung Kim, UW-Fond du Lac psychology professor. Abbey has also been active in the Psyched Psych Club, Student Government Association, Student Activities Committee, Cru and Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society. She also serves as a tutor for English and psychology.
Name: Abbey George
Hometown: Fond du Lac
Career program/major: Elementary Education
High School Attended: Fond du Lac High School
What is your career or life goal?
My career or life goal is to empower youth who face adversity in their lives or are disadvantaged. I want to show them the value of education and how it plays a vital role in ensuring a better life. As a teacher, I also want to foster resilience in the lives of my students and encourage them to never give up on following their dreams. In the face of much adversity that I faced as a child, I became resilient and used my education to follow my dreams.
What led you to choose your program or major?
I discovered my desire to work with children when I worked in the Tot-Spot at Festival Foods. This desire grew when I worked at Chegwin as teacher-aid through the Fond du Lac School District and the Boys and Girls Club. These experiences helped me to realize the great impact that I have on the lives of these children.
Why did you decide to become a University of Wisconsin student at UW-Fond du Lac?
I decided to become a student at UW-Fond du Lac because I wanted to begin my college career with a more individualized education. When I took college course through youth options during my senior year of high school, I realized that UW-Fond du Lac was a place that would provide for me many opportunities to grow, not just academically, but personally. Upon deciding which college best suited me, I knew, at this time, that I was not ready to attend a larger school or university. This also gave me a chance to live with my family as I helped with taking care of my autistic sister.
Is there a UW-Fond du Lac professor or staff member who made a difference in your life or inspired you?
Dr. Kayoung Kim was my psychology professor for three of my classes during my freshman year. Since the very first day of Introductory Psychology, I instantaneously became intrigued by psychology because of her enthusiasm for her area of study. At first, I thought I wanted to pursue a career as a psychologist or a counselor, but when I took her developmental psychology course and learned about child development, I considered the possibility of becoming an educator. It was also Dr. Kim’s encouragement that helped me to believe in myself for the very first time as I discovered my talents and gifts. She helped me to find my strength and courage in personal, as well as academic challenges by empowering me and inspiring me.
What is one piece of advice you would give to an incoming UW-Fond du Lac student?
Challenges will come in your career as a student. It is easy to give in or give up. One piece of advice I would give to an incoming student is never stop trying, no matter how difficult something may be. If one were to simply give up or give in to a challenge or struggle, he or she may never know what they are truly capable of overcoming or accomplishing. It is always about striving to reach for one’s full potential, and nothing less than that.
Describe something unexpected that happened here at UW-Fond du Lac.
I least anticipated how caring and inspiring faculty members were. They saw me as an individual with unique desires and abilities. It was this element of my education that helped me grow the most as a student because my professors showed me in multiple instances, my abilities and strengths that I did not see in myself.
When not in class or studying, what keeps you busy?
When I am not studying or in class, I help my mother take care of my autistic sister. I work at Festival Foods as a bagger or in the Tot-Spot. I am involved in a youth bible study through a friend’s church. I am involved in Psyched Psych Club and Student Government and am the public relations director for both organizations. I tutor English and Psychology on campus. I am also a member of Phi Theta Kappa.
What are your plans after UW-Fond du Lac?
After UW-Fond du Lac, I plan to transfer to UW-Madison for the Elementary Education program. I am ecstatic about learning how developmental changes and psychological components, socioeconomic status, and culture play a role in education and students’ ability to learn and succeed by world-class teachers or researchers. My experiences here will challenge me to think about these issues at a much deeper level because of the program’s rigor. I am confident that my education at UW-Madison will challenge me in ways that I never knew before, but I am ready for them to come my way.
To learn more about starting an education or one of over 200 majors here, call (920) 929-1122 and schedule an appointment with an advisor.
UW-Fond du Lac is part of the University of Wisconsin System and one of the 14 freshman/sophomore campuses of the UW Colleges. UW-Fond du Lac offers an Associate of Arts and Science Degree, the foundation to a bachelor’s degree and specialized professional and occupational degrees.