After struggling through years of school, Janekka Colbert didn’t follow the traditional path to college. Now, she is pursuing a master’s degree in education to help students find their passion and purpose.
“Growing up, I always second-guessed myself when it came to my education and what I wanted to do,” says Janekka. “It wasn’t until later in my life that I realized I wanted to become a teacher so I can help students unlock their potential.”
In 2010, she received an associate’s degree from Tarrant County College (TCC) and then transferred to TCU to study early childhood education. She graduated in May 2014 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction through the Accelerated Master’s Option in the College of Education.
“I wanted to study early childhood education because elementary school sets the foundation for lifelong learning,” says Janekka. “Children need an inspiration that will help them realize they are capable of learning.”
Recently, Janekka was invited to be the keynote speaker during TCC’s Emerging Scholars event and share her educational journey with community college students. “With four kids, I have had to balance a lot,” says Janekka. “I hope that I can show someone who may not be on the traditional college path, that it is possible to go back to school and achieve your dreams.”
Janekka has also participated in the TCU Center for Public Education’s Aspiring Educators program. The program aims to inspire local high school students to attend college through mentoring and teaching opportunities. “I didn’t have someone to guide or encourage me to continue my education,” says Janekka. “Being a mentor to students, who may not have the support they need to complete their education, is very important.”
After finishing her master’s degree, Janekka plans to teach in a local elementary school. Eventually, she would like to pursue a doctorate degree in educational policy and become a principal.
“The best part about being in the College of Education is the rigorous student teaching process and the support you receive from your professors,” says Janekka. “I feel prepared to succeed outside of the walls of the Bailey Building. When I walk into a classroom of my own one day, I know will be able to handle anything.”