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Alumna finds fulfillment in Teen Challenge management role

April 2, 2012 | Evangel University News

Rachel Hand, who graduated from Evangel University in 2008, has been amazed to see how her elementary and middle school education degree has been put to use in the real world.

Over the past three years, Hand has held various positions at Teen Challenge Kansas City Girls’ Home and is currently the interim director. “My elementary education background allows me the ability to recognize gaps in the girls’ education and to lay a foundation in those areas,” Hand says.

The mission of this 15-month residential program is to provide girls who struggle with life-controlling issues a fresh start. The facility provides a structured environment for emotional and spiritual recovery. The Home also provides counseling, education, discipleship and life-skills training.

Hand is responsible for organizing the three components of life there: school, residential living and counseling.

“I love working with the big picture and figuring out how all three core components help develop the girls into a whole person,” Hand says.

During her first two years, she was lead teacher in their on-campus school, overseeing each student’s academic plan. “I had to make sure each girl had the tools needed to change every area of her life,” she says.

During this time, she worked with a young girl who continually struggled with her assignments.

Hand had studied learning styles in her undergraduate coursework. After testing her, she found that the girl was an auditory learner. At that point, everything clicked — the girl went from D’s to straight B’s almost immediately and began growing in other areas of her life as well.

“Discovering how she learned best was what finally gave this student the ability to start reading with confidence,” Hand says.

Hand is thankful for her time at Evangel: “My degree in education has proven beneficial both in the classroom and in my roles in management.”

Written by Kara Ransom, student writer, and Valorie Coleman, assistant director of public relations for Evangel University

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