“"You can't give your students all the answers; they will try to take the easy way out and have you do all the work, but it's best to give them the resources to find the answers on their own. That's the fun of learning.”
“I’ve had amazing teachers who inspired me to love learning, and I want to share that love,” says Leslie Lacret, an Honors student majoring in Social Science Education.
She’s not quite ready to take on the required teaching internship, but, she says, “I have done some observing in different schools. I’ve learned that you can’t give your students all the answers; they will try to take the easy way out and have you do all the work, but it’s best to give them the resources to find the answers on their own. That’s the fun of learning.”
Leslie has chosen to focus on Social Studies, as it “deals with the way people interact with each other,” a subject she loves to explore. While in high school, she was involved in numerous clubs, enabling her to “build communities.” When she arrived on campus, and was ensconced in Gilchrist Hall, a residence hall for Honors students, she “knew immediately that here was a great opportunity to help build a living community, which was especially important since most of the residents had never lived away from home.”
As vice-president of Gilchrist Hall, Leslie “tried to help everyone with their concerns, or point them in the direction of someone who could better serve them.” She helped spearhead a number of programs for the Landis-Gilchrist complex, including the CAN-paign, a city-wide can collection effort. To get her residents involved in community service, she led the can tabs collection for the Ronald McDonald House. At the end of the semester, she says, “We won the Inter-Residence Hall Council’s Hall/Complex of the Semester Award.”
Next, she ran for, and won, the position of secretary for the Inter-Residence Hall Council. Her natural leadership skills were obvious from the beginning, keeping the organization on track and planning events that would appeal to a variety of personalities—”safe, fun ways to spend an evening without spending a ton of money.”
As the only minority in the group, Leslie feels she has offered a different perspective of what programs students might enjoy, such as salsa dancing, which is very popular in her Cuban-American culture. “My parents are political refugees, and I am a first-generation American. We try to keep our heritage alive, including cooking wonderful Cuban food just like abuela made!” And she’s recently added a minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies to help her “learn a little more” about her roots.