GGC graduates are Grizzly prepared with real-world applicable experiences that support their future goals in rewarding careers.
Just ask kindergarten teacher Shelby Myers, ’17. A partnership between GGC and Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) allowed her plenty of teaching practice as an early education major, first through observation and eventually to leading her own lessons.
“I had all the confidence in the world to run my own classroom. I was over-prepared, confident, excited and emotionally ready for my first year of teaching,” Myers said.
The rigor of GGC’s education program, however, tested Myers and tipped her work/school/life balance askew. Her mentoring advisor, Dr. Kimberly Swartzentruber, associate professor of education, stepped in with continued guidance to support Myers through her challenges.
“I was going to quit because of the stress of balance in my life. [Dr. Swartzentruber] laughed and told me ‘If you quit the program, I quit my job,’” Myers said. “She was the first one I called after my interview for Gwinnett County Public Schools, and she was the first person I thanked when I graduated.”
Myers credits GGC’s dedicated faculty for her success as the self-proclaimed “fun-loving” teacher she is today. It’s evident she enjoys her work and the opportunity to shape the next generation of students.
But Myers had to leave the Grizzly den before returning to discover her passion.
“During my first year at GGC, I was a nursing major,” Myers said. “After that first year, I decided to pursue other colleges to see what my best options were. In that time, I changed my major, changed schools again and was not happy. I never felt like those other schools were my home … that they were my family. And, to be honest, I did not enjoy school as much. I came back to GGC and never looked back. I was loved, accepted … felt like a family.”
Myers remains in the loving fold of her Grizzly family as a member of the Alumni Association Board. And even after graduating, Myers still surprisingly found herself recently supported while facing more of life's challenges: a cancer diagnosis, hospital stays, her wedding and a roller coaster of emotions.
“The Alumni Board, and my education professors and dean were the first to step in and help,” Myers said.
“This is my first year as a member of the Alumni Association Board," she continued. "It was something I had never experienced, but wanted to do because I wanted to stay involved and give back to the school that changed me. I jumped right in, going to events and meetings. I met new people, made new connections, and learned so much about other programs in the school.”
She continues in her role as a board member and kindergarten teacher, sharing her GGC experiences and encouraging others to consider college.
Learn more about the GGC experience and become a Grizzly.