Christopher Sparks is the recipient of the SNVC Institute 2023-2024 Undergraduate Scholarship. Christopher is pursuing an English degree at Longwood University with the career goal of teaching secondary education. He has been quite Proactive (Habit 1 from “The 7 Habits Training” offered by the SNVC Institute) with the understanding of the qualities and skills required in this demanding profession and has taken the steps to develop them (Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind).
While still in high school Christopher served as a teaching assistant which allowed him to create and lead lesson plans. His love of teaching has continued during his past two years at Longwood. His involvement with the Boys and Girls Club over the summer of 2022 as a Youth Development Professional helped him gain insight and skill development for stress management as there was a need to provide services to a large member community while quite understaffed. He looks forward to working with the Andy Taylor Center at Longwood University to further develop skills to help shape the minds of the very young.
He realizes the importance of speaking and presentation skills required in the teaching profession and looks for opportunities to strengthen both in his classroom discussions at Longwood. Last year he created and presented original research at the Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry. The audience included both students and faculty. His desire is to initiate insightful discussion for learning by all participants of a group. This “proactive” step highlights yet another topic from “The 7 Habits” training call Synergy (Habit 6). Synergy is the ability to work collaboratively with others to seek “Win-Win” (Habit 4) outcomes that are more effective than from a single source.
Mindful of his academic success, Christopher is working on completing the requirements to be a member of the Cormier Honors College, maintains a high GPA, and has been continuously on the Dean’s List.
His professor stated he possesses, “leadership qualities both in and outside the classroom”. Another described Christopher as “a vibrant presence, yet amazingly modest”.
We wish Christopher the best successes as he completes studies at Longwood and begins his teaching career. The above shows that he is deserving of this scholarship.