For CaraShea Hughes, her journey through Colorado State University is taking her back to her high school alma mater — only this time, she will be the teacher.
Hughes is graduating from CSU with honors, having earned a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences and a Teacher Licensure Secondary Education endorsement. She will begin her teaching career as a family and consumer sciences teacher at Fort Collins High School this fall.
“I am so excited to go back to the place that inspired me to inspire students,” said Hughes. “I look forward to giving back and exploring my high school as an alumni teacher!”
The power of a mentor
As a high school student, Hughes found a passion for FCS education thanks to the mentorship of several teachers in her life.
“My freshman year, my father passed away,” said Hughes. “I slowly started to hate school and felt like there wasn’t anything I was very passionate about.”
But then she met Kim Schutt (’11), a family and consumer sciences teacher at FCHS and CSU family and consumer sciences alumna, who helped Hughes find resources and schedule a meeting with Dawn Mallette, an associate professor in the FCS program at CSU. From there, Hughes knew that teaching was her calling.
“CaraShea is a talented young woman who possesses the skills, knowledge and dispositions to be a highly successful teacher,” said Mallette. “She puts everything she has into everything she does. I’m so excited she is becoming a teacher – she will make an incredible impact on the students she teaches.”
In her senior year at FCHS, Hughes completed concurrent enrollment coursework at Front Range Community College and graduated with a yoga teacher certification. She enrolled in CSU’s FCS education program the very next year.
Advice to new Rams: ‘Soak it up’
Over the next four years, Hughes kept a lively schedule at CSU, forming many wonderful memories in the process. One of her favorite memories, she said, is attending the Rec Center’s weekly dance HIIT class with her friends.
“I am so fortunate to be a first-generation student who was able to receive scholarships, grants and amazing experiences,” said Hughes. “I will miss all the memories at CSU!”
One piece of advice she would give new college students: “Soak it up.”
“Do all the activities that your college offers,” she said. “Take part in student lead organizations and love the next four years, because it goes a lot faster than you would think.”
As for herself, Hughes said her time at CSU made her a more confident person who is always ready for new experiences.
“I can say that during my time as a student, I discovered that I am my own hero,” said Hughes. “I can’t wait to keep chasing my hero in the future and always accomplishing my dreams.”
Family and Consumer Sciences is a bachelor’s degree offered by the School of Education, part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.