MTC '18 Spotlight: Brent Eubanks
NAME: BRENT EUBANKS
COLLEGE: THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI
PLACEMENT: WEST TALLAHATCHIE HIGH SCHOOL
1. What made you want to join the Mississippi Teacher Corps?
Probably midway through my senior year at Ole Miss I realized the route I was planning to take (Med School) was not what I wanted to do with my life. So I graduated with no set plans and moved home. During that summer following graduation, I went to work at the MS-MS Summer Enrichment Camp that I had been working at since I was in high school. It's a summer camp that focuses around academics and during the weeks that I was there for the 5th or 6th year in a row I realized that this was my passion. I loved the look in a kid’s eyes as they were excited to learn and discover something new. So after talks with my family, I started looking for programs, and MTC was at the top of my list.
2. Who told you about MTC?
So I've been privileged to know, but also be taught by, MTC alums. Lauren Zarandona has been an influential part of my life. She was my teacher and then later my co-worker at the summer camp. One afternoon while we were taking a break during the summer, she mentioned it to me and said that I might be a good fit, so I decided to look it up. I also got to know Jon Zarandona over the years. There was also Dr. Germain McConnell who was the Executive Director of my high school. He actually ended up being one of the people who would write my recommendation for the program. Finally, there was Elizabeth Morgan, who has actually been a great help with lending me resources on Chemistry. I guess the summary of it all is that I've been surrounded by great educators who were all a part of the MTC family; so when they told me about it, I knew I wanted to join.
3. If you hadn't joined MTC, what would you have done instead?
In all honesty, I would have found another way into the classroom. I've been so grateful that MTC has allowed me to be a part of this program; but at the end of the day, teaching has become a passion of mine. So when everything came to a close, I would have found another alternate-route program or even gone back to school to pursue a career in the classroom.
4. Why have you remained in MS since graduating from high school?
Mississippi is my notorious, confusing, beautiful, infuriating, and well-loved home. There's so much that people can say about Mississippi, but a lot of the time it can be an outsider’s perspective. When you live here, you see exactly where we fall short but also excel in areas of life. For a lot of people, especially my generation, this is a reason to leave to search for opportunities outside of the small world that is my state. However, if you want to see improvements, you have to put in the work. Now I'm not saying that I'm trying to be the savior of Mississippi and change all the stereotypes that come with the area. However, if you can influence and improve the lives of even a few individuals (like in a classroom for example), then you take the first steps to reach the goal of change. If you don't try to help and change things that you may not be happy with, you don't have the right to complain when it all stays the same.