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Clara Monson- First-Generation Student Profile

Clara Monson,  Martinsburg High School Class of 2020

Why do you believe it is important for you to attend college?

There are a lot of reasons why I think it is important for me to attend college. One is that my desired career, a high school English teacher, requires a bachelor’s degree, and another is just that I love learning. A college is definitely a place where you can learn anything you want and I have learned so much already that even if I didn’t need a college degree to teach, I’d still be there because I like it.

What resources do you believe high school students need to help them prepare for college and what are your plans for the future?

I think that high school students need people who care about their success, push them to be better, and people who can explain difficult concepts to them. This may be teachers, tutors, coaches, or even peers, but they need a strong support system and access to answers for their questions.

My plans for the future are to finish college at Shepherd in 2024 and be qualified to teach English at a high school. I plan to either stay in Martinsburg (possibly teach at MHS) or move to Alabama to be near the rest of my family. Beyond that, my general goals are to be the best teacher my students have ever had and teach them something they previously couldn’t understand. I want to help my students succeed in whatever they do and feel as if no matter what, they have someone at school that they can come to with questions and get a good answer. Eventually, I would also like to

Outside of academics, what are your hobbies/extracurricular?

I really enjoy singing and listening to new music as well as writing (essays and short stuff like that). For extracurricular, I did a ton in high school, but I’ve tried to scale it back a little in college so this semester I am in the Camerata Soprano/Alto Choir at Shepherd and next semester I’ll be in the Chamber Singers!

What advice do you give other first-generation students in high school?

Do your research on colleges (financial aid, cost of the college in general, location, ask friends or relatives about their experiences) and ask for help if you need it because there’s always people who are willing to help!

What drives you to go to college?

I love learning and I’ve just always had the desire to go to college. It’s a good way to better myself and achieve my life goals.