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The McKay School taught Larrabee how to "identify and meet" students' different needs

Alyssa Larrabee, from Hillsboro, Oregon, is the only member in her family to attend and graduate from college. As the youngest of her single mother’s five children, Larrabee says she grew up understanding that though she came from different circumstances than her peers, they all had equal opportunity to succeed in the classroom. “In the classroom, only our efforts determined our outcomes,” she said.

At an early age, Larrabee made the decision to attend college. “With this determination, I did all I could to ensure that this possibility would turn into a reality,” she admitted. This April she graduated with a degree in history teaching.

Larabee made her career decision after she began her general studies at BYU. She remarked, “After studying some history classes, I realized what impressive and disastrous stories existed throughout world history and how those who study the past could change the course of the future.” She hopes to pass on this passion and perspective for history to her students.

As an undergraduate student in the McKay School, Larrabee had opportunities to work with children at the Mazique Parent-Child Center in Washington, DC, and the MacArthur Ninth Grade School in Houston, Texas. She says that her experiences in DC and Houston taught her that all students should be treated equally, but that equally does not mean the same. “Every student has different needs,” she said. “The students I taught had very basic needs. They needed to feel supported and loved before they could even begin to study. The McKay School taught me how to identify and meet different needs using varied instruction.”

Currently Larrabee is applying for teaching jobs locally as well as in South Korea. In the future she hopes to continue her education and to become a mother. She is also an avid runner who recently completed a half-marathon.

August 2, 2010