While some people are moved by a beautiful piece of art or well-crafted, stirring poetry, Nicole Snelgrove is inspired by science, saying her connection to science is “almost spiritual.” Even when she was a little girl – living in poverty – she knew science was her way out, and she pursued her passion with a single-minded determination.
“I had a real rough time in high school,” Snelgrove says. “Getting my bachelor degree is what pulled me out of it.”
After working for several years as a lab assistant, she found herself unfulfilled and in need of a change. Snelgrove realized teaching would fit into her schedule as a single mom and give her an avenue to make a difference.
“Realizing the importance of education was an awakening that is extremely empowering. I got this fire in me to make a difference in the lives of kids,” she says. “I felt like I could reach students at a very deep level.”
After discovering PEBC’s Teacher Residency program (then called the Boettcher Teacher Residency), Snelgrove was quickly on her way to a career change that has been rewarding and fulfilling.
“I feel very fortunate. It seems like this is the most supportive program out there. It allowed me to develop my own voice as a teacher. It let me be me,” she says.
In addition to to the residency program, Snelgrove credits her work as a mentor and the support of her field director as factors that keep her centered, focused, and passionate.
“Everyone at PEBC believes in teachers and believes in students in a very genuine way,” she says. “Teaching is not easy. You plant seeds, but you don’t always see the harvest. Even if I had all the money in the world, I’d be teacher.”
Nicole Snelgrove is a PEBC Teacher Residency (formerly known as the Boettcher Teacher Residency) alumna and a PEBC Mentor Teacher. She teaches science at William Smith High School in Aurora, Colorado.