On the Job: Alizabeth Nelson

Kearsley High School graduate Alizabeth Nelson has been busy since her time in TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative. After graduation, she attended Grand Valley State University, working on a pre-medical degree. But she experienced a few speed bumps along the way.

“I stumbled through my first year of college,” says Nelson, who opted to change her major. “I decided that education was something closer to what I wanted. I fell in love with special education and that is what got me to where I am now.”

Now, Nelson works as paraprofessional working with special needs students in Grand Blanc Schools and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in special education. After which, she plans to teach in her own classroom.

What is your favorite part about your job?

Seeing the progress the students make. We have one student who would refuse to go into a classroom and this year he is in his classroom full time with little assistance.

How did the lessons learned in TeenQuest help you on your career path?

The biggest thing I took from TeenQuest was learning who I am as a person and what would help me succeed.

What stands out to you from TeenQuest?

The relationships that I developed with the leaders and the resources they could give me. My TeenQuest facilitator, Mrs. Aquil, was an inspiration to me.

What advice would you give to current TeenQuest students?

Listen to everything that your facilitators say or suggest – it makes life so much easier! And show your true personality because that is what people want to see.

The biggest thing I would say to younger students is to develop who you are as a person. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes because everyone does it!

What has been your proudest moment since TeenQuest?

Being able to study abroad in college. There were many opportunities that came my way because of that.

TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative are made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

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