Sometimes you need big changes. Ruby Santiago ’18 of Moreno Valley, Calif., (a town about an hour’s drive east of Los Angeles) was looking to make big changes when she decided to attend Green Mountain College. “If you’ve ever traveled to California and stepped off the plane or gotten out of the car, you can smell the soot and the pollution. When we first arrived in Vermont, breathing in the air was an ‘Oh my God, this smells so clean’ moment.”
Ruby made another big change her sophomore year at GMC—switching her major from biology to elementary education. It was a natural transition for her because she’s always seen herself as a natural teacher. “I love learning and I love science. So I’ve thought recently about teaching science courses in charter schools.”
Ruby discovered an interest in science back when she was a little girl, stemming from her curiosity about everyday phenomena. She admits to having the kind of mind that occasionally wanders, but she’s accepted that as part of her natural inquisitiveness that’s spurring her to closely investigate her surroundings.
“In second grade, we were all sitting on the floor and my teacher was reading the twister book from Magic Tree House. It really spurred me to ask the ‘why’ questions. Since that day, I’ve always been really interested in science.”
Ruby has taken a wide range of science courses at GMC including chemistry, anatomy and biology, and she believes these studies give her an excellent backgound in helping children launch their own investigations. This semester, she is observing classes at Poultney Elementary School.
When Ruby isn’t wrapped up in her studies, she is an active member of the tennis team and works as a student ambassador for the admissions office. She is looking forward to another change when she graduates. She comes from a military family and intends to join the Marine Corps before settling down and beginning her teaching career.
“My dad, and my grandfather, and many other people in my family have served in the Marines. The additional training and experience I’m sure will help me in my education career.”