My name is Maria Ross. I am a freshman here at SIU studying Math Education with hopes of becoming a high school math teacher. I am from a small town outside Champaign, Illinois called Mahomet. I chose to go to school at SIU so that I could carry on my family legacy as a third generation Saluki following my grandfather and father.
In high school, I struggled to decide on what I wanted to study in college, but I knew I wanted to become a teacher. Even though I am from a small town, the community left a big impact on me. Throughout high school, I excelled in my academic work, especially math, but I also had a passion for music from participating in band and choir. Eventually I narrowed down my decision to mathematics over music. I think what inspired me to choose math was the wonderful math teachers I had in high school. They taught me a lot inside and outside the classroom and are role models for the kind of teacher I want to be some day.
The transition to SIU has been exciting, but also stressful. It’s a big change, and in the beginning, it was difficult to find an organization that I was interested in. After hearing about LDP I decided to give it a try. At the first meeting, I was greeted with warm welcomes and positive attitudes. At that moment, I knew that I wanted to be a part of this awesome team. They have already pushed me and inspired me to be a better person. I am excited to see what skills I will obtain from this program that I can put back into the education system through my work with high school students one day.