Maya Gompper, a second-year intern in the elementary undergraduate teacher education program, was featured by U-M Athletics in a Scholar-Athlete Story. Brad Rudner covered Gompper’s accomplishments in field hockey, her commitment to the community, and her experiences in the SOE.
"As student-athletes, we have a platform and resources given to us that make it easy to help others," Gompper said. "I think it's important to use that position to better others, to help others who aren't as fortunate. There's always something you can do."
In addition to the community outreach activities of the team, Gompper serves as a volunteer coach with the Pinnacle Field Hockey Club, the same team that gave her a start. She also volunteers with Athletes for Community Transformation, a student-led organization partially founded by field hockey alumnus Ainsley McCallister.
Gommper is an intern in the elementary education program. She does her student teaching in Ypsilanti, working in a first-grade classroom comprised mostly of students of color. One of the things her studies have taught her concerns the disparities and systemic problems that affect communities. It is something she is keenly aware of in her classroom.
"So much of teaching is not just content. Obviously you teach that, but it's how you teach it and how you teach the kids to see themselves in the world," she said. "Any class you're teaching, you're teaching them how to interact with each other and how to see themselves confidently. As educators, you spend almost all day, nearly every day, with these kids. You're a huge influence in their lives."