With another successful commencement behind us, recent High Point University graduates are preparing to commence prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Here’s a glimpse of one extraordinary senior from the Class of 2016:
Name: Ainsley Gompf
Hometown: Jackson, Tennessee
Major: Gompf graduated with a B.A. in Elementary Education, with a minor in Spanish, on May 7.
Post-graduation plans: Gompf accepted a position as a fifth and sixth grade science teacher at Johnson Street Global Studies, a K-8 magnet school in High Point.
How HPU helped you get there: “I actually made connections at Johnson Street through a practicum for one of my sophomore education classes. I wasn’t even supposed to be at that school, but last minute changes put me in a second grade classroom with a teacher named Coshenda Clark. She was one of the most incredible teachers I had ever seen and was part of the reason that I felt confident about continuing as an elementary education major. As I went through the elementary ed program at HPU, I had the opportunity to intern at different schools and gained firsthand experience of what to do and what not to do. The education department also helped me to facilitate an internship with a non-profit in Nicaragua called El Ayudante. I have worked with their 36 students for two summers and hope to continue to be involved in the organization and continue those relationships. It was an incredible experience to be able to combine my Spanish and education backgrounds, and the internship also helped me to gain experience working with a diverse population of students. I loved my technology courses in the education program at HPU, and I feel that the skills taught in those courses allowed me to create an impressive portfolio. I also received amazing instruction from my professors that was practical and relevant to current needs and trends in education.
When applying for jobs, I had collected samples of student work from student teaching as well as technology resources that I had created for lessons. Having that tangible evidence of my skills and knowledge made a huge difference in my interview experiences. Johnson Street does not have much turnover, so I was thrilled at the opportunity to work in a school with such a great atmosphere with such welcoming and professional staff. After accepting the job, I found out that my homeroom class is full of students from Mrs. Clark’s second grade class that I worked with three years ago. I am excited for the year to come!
During freshman year I struggled to decide what I wanted to major in because I was torn between Spanish, education and a million other options in between. I met with Eric at Career Services to do some skills inventories and other assessments to see what fields would be the best for me. I finally decided to go into education.”
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “My most impactful mentors at HPU were my advisors, Mrs. Debbie Albert (education) and Dr. Hayden Carron (Spanish). Both have supported me in any way they could on or off campus no matter the time of the day. There is a difference between wanting to see a student do well and wanting to see a student succeed in life, and both Mrs. Albert and Dr. Carron have invested in me to help me succeed in any circumstance.”
Most impactful moment at HPU: “I don’t know that there is one particular moment that stands out to me more than others. Being in college on your own gives you the freedom to truly decide how you want to live without the influence of others, and make your own choices. The the combination of those choices sums up one incredible experience at HPU. Everything from deciding who to live with (I still live with two of my college roommates after graduating) to studying abroad, to being involved in a strong Christian community on campus are hugely impactful experiences.”
Advice for underclassmen: “Don’t waste your time. Four years go by faster than you can imagine, so don’t think that you can do something next year, or that you will invest in certain people when you have more time, because you are not going to get less busy. Set your priorities and make time for what is most important, even if it may not seem crucial at the time.“