I attended Creighton University and earned my Bachelor's degree in Journalism. A semester of service my junior year at an orphanage for children with disabilities in the Dominican Republic sparked my interest in education and advocacy for people with disabilities. This is why I applied to JVC, and I was fortunate to be placed at my top choice- Respite Care of San Antonio.
I was the Lead Teacher for a child care and respite center for low income families who had children with disabilities. This experience solidified my desire to pursue special education, and I earned my Master's degree in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Texas-Austin. I got my first job at a Title I school, teaching bilingual first grade.
It was an extremely challenging year, but JVC prepared me well for being immersed in a culturally and socioeconomically diverse environment. I then took a job at an inclusive preschool, (at which I had interned in graduate school), where children with and without disabilities learn side-by-side in the classroom. I taught for four years in this model before becoming the Executive Director of the same model in Denver, and I am currently halfway through my seventh year as the Director.
I can confidently say that if I hadn't taken the leap to apply to JVC, my life would look very different right now. Knowing that my work matters, and makes a difference in the lives of many students and families, is very fulfilling. JVC was definitely a turning point in my life, and the best "career move" I have ever made!
Meghan (Beatty) Klassen is the executive director at the Rise School in Denver, CO.