To Jacki D’Amico there is nothing more precious than to see the world from a child’s point of view. “They are so carefree and see the world as an exciting place to learn and play,” states D’Amico who will be graduating with a degree in Elementary and Special Education from Immaculata University. Since she was young, growing up in Delaware, she always wanted to become a teacher. She felt that she could make a difference in the world by educating the next generation.
When she was in third grade, a teacher made a difference in D’Amico’s life by identifying a learning disability that neither she, nor her parents, knew she had. She went through the special education program at St. Elizabeth’s in Wilmington, DE, where she was taught how to use her learning disability to her advantage. With this personal experience, D’Amico is in a unique position to help other special education students because she understands what they are going through. She admits that when she was in school, the tools and equipment used to help special education students were not very sophisticated. With the focus on special education taking root in the mid-1970s and evolving each decade thereafter, D’Amico has witnessed its benefits first-hand.
Her extensive experience with international education will also provide her future students with perspective. After traveling to Peru multiple times as an Immaculata student and falling in love with the children, D’Amico accepted a teaching position with Escuela Immaculado Corazon (EIC), an IHM-affiliated school for boys in Peru. While participating in Immaculata’s six-week Global Perspectives in Education student-teaching program in Peru last May, D’Amico lived at EIC and taught young girls at another nearby IHM school.
Although moving to another country to teach at an all-boys school is not the typical path right out of college, D’Amico is up to the challenge. One important lesson that she learned after four years at Immaculata is that it is okay to be a little different from everyone else.
Taking a different path may just lead D’Amico into a career that would combine her interests and education. After honing her teaching skills in Peru, D’Amico would like to work for a government agency to address international education issues or helping other countries develop education programs that work within their educational systems. With a myriad of non-profit organizations that offer services to help international students, D’Amico may find many opportunities within this field. She already has some administrative experience in foreign education serving as the Study Abroad assistant at Immaculata. In this role, she researched the available study abroad programs and schools then determined when, and if, a particular academic program was available and the best timeframe to complete the study abroad program. She also helped students select the country they wanted to study in.
To further broaden her career options, D’Amico plans to pursue a master’s degree in International Education and Policy. For now, she is happy sending the summer enjoying her friends and family before she leaves for Peru where an eager class of young boys await their new teacher.