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Scholar Spotlight: Bobbie Hilmer

School: University of Northern Iowa || Major: Elementary Education

Bob­bie is major­ing in ele­men­tary edu­ca­tion with a minor in K‑8 math­e­mat­ics edu­ca­tion at UNI. Bobbie’s favorite part about her jour­ney so far as an edu­ca­tor is wit­ness­ing stu­dents Ah-ha!” moments when they fig­ure out how to solve a prob­lem. Scroll to read Bobbie’s full inter­view to dis­cov­er her biggest inspi­ra­tion and more!

What oppor­tu­ni­ties or expe­ri­ences have you been able to take part in that you might not have been able to with­out the scholarship?

This schol­ar­ship has giv­en me the oppor­tu­ni­ty to focus on school­work and cre­at­ing rela­tion­ships, rather than work­ing to pay for school. While I have held part-time jobs through­out the school year and over sum­mer breaks, I have been able to work in posi­tions that offer expe­ri­ence in the field of edu­ca­tion with­out need­ing to wor­ry about the hours and pay. 

The free­dom of not hav­ing to stress about pay­ing bills and tuition has allowed me to dis­cov­er what I enjoy and expe­ri­ence all that col­lege life has to offer. I have also had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to par­tic­i­pate in train­ing ses­sions on finan­cial mat­ters, such as invest­ing, sav­ing, and bud­get­ing. As a result, I feel bet­ter pre­pared for finan­cial suc­cess after college. 

What do like most about your school?

I love that I get to spend time in var­i­ous class­rooms. Each teacher and stu­dent I have inter­act­ed with has taught me some­thing dif­fer­ent. UNI is unique in that under­grad­u­ate ele­men­tary edu­ca­tion stu­dents get to spend many hours in the class­room before their stu­dent teach­ing. This time in the class­room has rein­forced that my dream of being a teacher, which I’ve had since I was in sec­ond grade, is the right path for me. My absolute favorite part of my jour­ney so far is when I get to expe­ri­ence the Ah-ha!” moment when a stu­dent fig­ures out how to solve a par­tic­u­lar­ly dif­fi­cult chal­lenge. I love being a part of that moment, and I love help­ing stu­dents dis­cov­er they can accom­plish any­thing they set their minds to. 

Who is your biggest inspi­ra­tion and why?

My par­ents are my biggest inspi­ra­tion. They taught me how to over­come any of life’s obsta­cles through per­se­ver­ance, kind­ness, and patience. They have always been, and will con­tin­ue to be, my num­ber one fans. Regard­less of the chal­lenges I face, I know they are only a phone call away. 

Being a first-gen­er­a­tion col­lege stu­dent is chal­leng­ing because, as much as my par­ents sup­port me, they are not always able to answer my ques­tions. How­ev­er, they always encour­age me and work with me to find a solu­tion to what­ev­er chal­lenges arise.

What’s a fun fact we should know about you?

I have shared a room with my sis­ter for my entire life, and she has lots of sto­ries of me talk­ing in my sleep. I fre­quent­ly have con­ver­sa­tions with her that I have no rec­ol­lec­tion of when I wake up. I even played my sax­o­phone in my sleep one night. Or so I was told…