Incoming WKU Student Thanks YMLA for College Preparation
- Wednesday, August 19th, 2020
Dakota Ware, an incoming physical education major from Bowling Green, Kentucky, is looking forward to his first year at Western Kentucky University after his experience with WKU’s Young Male Leadership Academy.
YMLA is a WKU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences’ college preparation and recruitment initiative. Through partnerships with Warren County Public Schools and Bowling Green Independent Schools, YMLA helps young males from diverse backgrounds develop leadership skills and explore the teaching profession.
Ware attributes the program to helping him gain a better understanding of how important the education field is, and how he too could learn to serve as a positive influence through teaching.
“I didn’t realize until about my senior year in high school, but ever since I was younger, I loved going to P.E.” Ware said, “I had a teacher named Mr. Williams, and the fun he had every single day made me think I could do this as a profession – now, I can’t see myself doing anything else.”
While Mr. Williams served as a great professional influence, Ware also noted two others that served as positive change-agents during his time in YMLA. “Mr. Coleman and Mr. Stuntson [acted as my biggest influencers] because, as black men, I can look to them as a guide or rubric to be successful in the education field,” Ware said.
When it comes to college readiness, Ware feels confident in the preparation YMLA provided. “When you get into college, there is usually a goal already in place and if you are truly motivated to reach that goal there’s nothing that will derail from that enough to where you will give up on it.”
In his spare time, Ware enjoys listening to music and hanging out with friends. He’s looking forward to meeting new people and building lifelong connections during his time at WKU.
Ware said that the greatest thing he’s learned during his time in YMLA is that education is much more than just teaching, “it molds kids into how they are whenever they grow up.” Students interested in participating in the Young Male Leadership Academy during the 2020-2021 school year may contact Julia Rivas at email@example.com.
Western Kentucky University’s School of Teacher Education offers undergraduate and graduate degrees for anyone interested in pursuing a career in education. In addition, the Office of Professional Educator Services provides resources and support for students and teachers. For more information visit, www.wku.edu/ste.com.