Emma Hampton | Faces of Midland
Best of Both Worlds
Growing up, sophomore Emma Hampton never thought she’d attend college. With her high school experience being a low point in her life, she was prepared to end her school career after graduation. However, her mind was ultimately changed by various circumstances, namely the discovery of her passion for special education in high school.
“Somehow, I ended up in a PE mentor class after switching my schedule because I didn’t want to be in another class. I loved that class. I loved working with those students, it made me come alive. Genuinely, if I didn’t have that class in my first block, I would have found a way to skip school.”
While Emma continued to participate in the mentoring program, she was also beginning her time as a powerlifter. This led to her search for a college where she could pursue her activity in powerlifting, while also getting a degree in special education. After participating in Worlds for the International Powerlifting Federation, Midland appeared on her radar. Ultimately, Midland was able to give her the best of both worlds.
“After that trip, I told myself that if I could get a scholarship and powerlift at one of these schools, I would do the school part. Midland has phenomenal powerlifting and education programs. With both of those being top tier, everything fell into place and it was very clear I was meant to come here.”
Since arriving at Midland, Emma has become solidified in her decision to pursue special education. By going through field-based experiences and being around these students, she sees the role that she will have as an advocate for students in special education.
“The main thing that really motivates me to pursue special education is advocating for those students and encouraging them to reach their highest capabilities. I feel a lot of people see them and automatically discount them and I think that translates into them forgetting and doubting how much they can do. I just see that they have so much potential and I want them to see that in themselves and I want other people to see that.”
Throughout Emma’s journey, faith has been a large part of her life. Her faith has affirmed her choice to pursue college, get a degree in special education, and participate in powerlifting. In the end, Emma doesn’t see herself anywhere else and her faith has continued to comfort her throughout her journey in college.
“My faith has changed everything. It is the basis of every decision I have made. Looking back at that whole path I took to get to Midland, it is very evident that God was in every detail of that. I don’t believe there was any other way it would have come together. I know what God has done for me, and He designed it so I am where I am supposed to be and I have this purpose. He has instilled in me this comfort that I am meant to be a teacher and that assurance makes me know God can do that for other people.”
Emma Hampton is a sophomore special education major from St. Louis, MO. To share your story or nominate a friend, email firstname.lastname@example.org or post using #FacesofMidland.