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…