All About Jess

Jess Smith's Personal Reflection

At K-State

I am a junior studying Elementary Education with a minor in Spanish. I actually started out in accounting, and then changed my mind after spending a summer working at Rock Springs 4-H Center. I decided that I really wanted to help make some type of impact in kids' lives and improve this broken world, no matter how big or small the impact. This past summer I went out of my comfort zone and took the opportunity to work with adults with special needs. It was honestly the most rewarding thing that I have ever done. I learned so much, and it was truly a very humbling thing for me. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

"Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle." Christian D. Larson

My family has moved around a lot throughout the years due to my dad's job, and so I lived in a suburb of Chicago for 7 years. I graduated from high school with more than 800 other students, and altogether the high school had over 4,000 students. I participated in color guard and winter guard, and since I attended such a big high school, it was also extremely competitive. Color guard and winter guard were extremely important to me, and they required an extreme amount of physical activity and exercise. It was so intense that during my junior year, our winter guard routine actually placed 4th in the world.

After I graduated high school and transitioned into college, I got to the point where I didn't really like physical activity. I believe that my family had a huge impact on me. My dad doesn't enjoy physical activity. Instead of simply choosing to live a healthy lifestyle, he jumps from diet to diet, and goes from period with little or no physical activity to short bursts of periods with a lot of physical activity. My mom's not very big on physical activity either, so my brothers and I were never raised with the example of regular physical activity.

I run for those who can't...

Right after I graduated high school, my family moved to a tiny town in Iowa called Ely. It was a drastic change for me, and it makes it even harder to go home because I don't know anyone there. This past summer, I lived at home for the first time since graduating high school, and there wasn't much to do when I wasn't working.

But when I began working with the adults with special needs, I realized how much I took for granted. How much we all take for granted. I realized that I am so blessed to be able to do so many things that I don't take advantage of. So I started running for myself, but also for those that aren't able to run. It was always the little things that would motivate me to run: the beautiful sky, the open countryside off the gravel roads, or just thinking about how so many people don't have that same opportunity.

Interest and Getting Involved...

I find personal health and wellness extremely interesting simply because I feel like so many people get caught up in the craziness and the business of their lives that they often forget to focus on themselves. I also find it interesting because I think it is just as important as physical activity and nutrition, and I think it's often neglected.

I have only heard great things about this class, and I am extremely excited to learn more so that I am able to apply it to my own classroom and students sometime in the future. I want to participate as much as I can, learn as much as I can, and take the great examples that we are bound to learn from this class and be able to apply them in the future! I just want to be able to make a positive impact on my students' lives and help them to learn while having fun and staying healthy.