Gabby Parsons is finishing up her first year in the Educational Leadership M.Ed. program. Currently, she works as a graduate assistant for the Department of Leadership, Language and Curriculum in the College of Education. She is from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois and attended Northwestern University where she earned a BS in Social Policy, a minor degree in African American Studies, and also received a certificate in Civic Engagement.
When it came time for her to begin the graduate school application process Gabby recalls, “I had been looking at doctoral Educational Leadership programs and when I found out that DePaul offered it as a master’s degree I was ecstatic.” Dedicated to giving back and serving others, Gabby was inspired by DePaul’s mission and commitment to social justice so much so that in the end, she only applied to the College of Education.
Gabby knows that in the future her career will be in the field of education. With a desire to work with children, she plans have a position where she can work directly with youth. Her plan is to eventually work in administration, or start a parent/family support program. She states, “The main thing that motivates me is the racism, classism, and race-motivated violence in our country. I hope to impact the education system in a way that provides black and brown, and poorer people with more access, agency, and opportunity in society.” Gabby claims this passion came from her father who she says, “is the most inspirational person in my life” because of his dedication to fighting the injustices in her hometown. “Growing up, I was able to see the impact my dad had,” she explains. “He has been the driving force behind numerous advocacy, education, employment, mental health, and housing programs in the community, and I want to be able to create that kind of change and difference.”
Regarding her experience thus far in the Ed Leadership program, Gabby states that her favorite aspect has been is the application of theory to practical measures. She explains, “I love that I’m reading everything from Greek philosophies, to administrative techniques, to Japanese pedagogies. I feel like I’m learning how to be an innovative, yet realistic educator; which is really needed in our education system today.”
Gabby’s short term goals are to finish the Ed Leadership program, travel more, and get a dog. Her long term goals are to earn an Ed.D., or possibly a Ph.D. She states that she would like to work or teach somewhere in the Caribbean or in Japan, or at least live in another country for a few months or a year.