We have received such great advice from our MSE graduates on how their education has helped them, but now we would like to tell you a little bit about one graduate in particular, Kerri Zimmerman from the Special Education Class of 1994.
After graduating from BYU with a double certification in mild/moderate disabilities and severe disabilities, Kerri Zimmerman used her degree to teach in Ogden, UT and Long Beach, CA. Within her first few years of teachers, she underwent an IEP audit, wrote her own curriculum, and became department chair, all while teaching life skills among a large spectrum of abilities.
After her time in a formal education setting, Kerri has used her degree in numerous ways. Here are just a few: volunteering in classrooms, as a church service missionary with the Addiction Recovery Program, running a program for refugees, teaching women basic functional language, helping high school seniors make it to college, hosting the international Special Olympics at the summer games in Los Angeles, etc. This woman truly applies her education in every aspect of her life. At one point, her "family had a young lady with intellectual disabilities come live with [her family] for a few months and [they] loved hosting several of her birthday parties at home with her friends from her school class."
However, above all of these accomplishments, Kerri says that her education has helped her most in her role of motherhood. She says: "The area I use my degree the most is in being a mother! I am extremely grateful I have had the opportunity to be a mother, and use the knowledge from my education degree to bless my family. Understanding human behavior, interpersonal relationships, child development mile stones, behavior modification, learning styles, adapting to individual needs..... and so so many more things have helped me know how to better parent and teach my children."
Want some advice from Kerri? She told our student ambassadors the following:
"My advice is to learn as much a you can and know that the skills and information you are learning today will bless you and your family in ways you can't even imagine right now... As a teacher, it is super important to be teachable. Also, to know that every student no matter how limited their ability may seem is capable of learning, growing and joy. Love those kiddos you will have privilege of teaching, see them as God sees them and it will help you through difficult times and situations... Enjoy the journey, it's not a race to finish, it's a journey of learning, growing, and opportunities. Take advantage of the opportunities the Lord will put in your path."