Emily Akins: Education major and basketball player
October 8, 2013
While growing up in Springfield, Missouri, Emily Akins had always wanted to attend Evangel. However, that dream was threatened during her senior year of high school when she was hospitalized after a severe migraine. As Emily spent a day on a ventilator, her doctor notified her friends and family that she would probably never function normally again. They prayed earnestly for her, and she was completely healed with no complications.
Now, as a junior Elementary and Middle School Education major at Evangel, she is pursuing the passion God placed in her heart to make a difference in children’s lives. She also plays on the basketball team and enjoys representing Evangel on the court. Emily’s life goal is to bring God glory and proclaim His faithfulness for all that He’s done for her.
Why did you choose Evangel?
I have always pictured myself at Evangel. My sister graduated from Evangel, I love how it is a small Christian school, and basketball played a huge part in it as well. I am very close to my family, and being able to pursue a degree and play basketball for a school in my hometown is a true blessing. My parents haven’t missed a game. What better place to be than a school where I can grow in the Lord alongside other believers as I pursue my dream of becoming a teacher and play the game I love? I knew, without a doubt, that Evangel was the school that God was directing me to.
How did you decide on your area of study?
I am an Elementary and Middle School Education major with my certification being in English Language Arts. I am incredibly passionate about kids. I was that little girl who grew up playing “school” with her stuffed animals in her room. I truly believe that teaching is a calling. To be effective, you have to have a passion, desire and love for education, learning and children. I love being able to see young people grow, not only in basic knowledge, but in all areas of life. I long to make a difference and not just “teach.”
What do you like to do when you’re not in class?
I love going to the lake in the summers with my family and water skiing, wakeboarding and tubing. I also love to read (when I can actually find the time) and to spend time with my family and boyfriend. I also love to be in the gym. I love to work out, and I play basketball for Evangel.
Did you visit campus prior to moving in?
My sister attended Evangel before me, so I had been on campus multiple times and saw how beautiful the campus was (especially with all of the tulips in the spring). I would definitely recommend that prospective students take a campus tour to see everything that this school has to offer. It may be small, but it is beautiful and inviting.
What makes the environment at Evangel special?
I never could have imagined how amazing it would be to be surrounded by Christian influences everywhere I go. The atmosphere at Evangel is full of love for the Lord and support in all areas of life. All of the professors truly care about students’ lives and future careers. I also feel so blessed to be able to have the freedom to worship alongside my peers and do something so simple as to pray at the beginning of class.
What is the best thing about the Education Department?
The Education Department is great. The professors are all so helpful. I know that even if I have never had a professor in class before, I could walk into his or her office and have my questions answered and instant support. The department is full of people who have been teachers themselves and would do anything to lead students in the right direction. I also know that from all of the guidance and knowledge I have received, I will be fully prepared to begin my first year of teaching when I graduate.
What are your life and career goals?
After I graduate, I plan on getting married. Then, my dream job is to be teaching in a second-grade classroom. I love young kids, and I feel like that is such a crucial age for learning. They are at such impressionable stages with eagerness that later fades. I would love to stay around Springfield and teach. I am also considering teaching and coaching at the middle-school level.
Why should a prospective student choose Evangel?
Evangel is a community of believers who can openly serve the Lord and pursue their degrees. The professors are very personal, and they truly care. The small campus makes it easier to develop deeper relationships and to get to know peers and professors. Evangel offers the best education with biblical studies intertwined. Evangel is a family.