Noyce Scholars
Kelli Powell

Kelli Powell headshot

M.T., mathematics education

Undergraduate major
Mathematical sciences with a concentration in secondary teacher prep

I have always enjoyed school and academics. However, my interest in pursuing education as a profession didn't come until a couple of years after graduating from high school. I first discovered a love for teaching when I began tutoring Algebra 1 about five years ago. In the past few years, I also tutored elementary and middle school children through a church-sponsored tutoring program in Petersburg, Va. I have had the opportunity to teach English overseas and I also was an instructor with Mathnasium.

Why do you want to teach?
I want to teach so that I can hopefully play a positive role in the lives of many children who may not have a lot of positive influences in their lives. I want to be in a position where I can inspire young people to not put themselves in boxes, but to believe that it is possible for them to attain what they reach for. It is a great opportunity to build bridges of understanding, especially in mathematics, and to enlighten young people to the fact that mathematics is a skill that can be obtained by anyone, not a select few.

Please tell us about a memorable teaching experience and why it stands out in your mind.
A memorable teaching experience for me is when I taught seventh grade mathematics for a week at a homeschool co-op in the Southeast Asian nation of Laos. It was a co-op full of children of different nationalities and I realized what a beautiful thing it is that mathematics is a universal language. This time also stands out to me because it is the week I realized I wanted to go to school to pursue teaching as a career.

What has the Noyce program meant to you?
The Noyce program offers me a support system to become the best teacher I can be. This program means resources to begin my teaching career well prepared as well as opportunities to grow from peers and mentors.