news-category: Christian Service

GWU Degree Completion Program Recognizes Student with Community Engagement Award

a collage of photos of Heather Foushee, working at the fall festival and receiving her award.

Through Online Program, Heather Foushee, ’24, Keeps Her Job and Serves Others While Earning Her Degree

Through Gardner-Webb University’s fully-online Teacher Assistants to Teachers program, Heather Foushee is earning a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education without giving up the job she loves. A teacher assistant in the third grade at Vass (N.C.) Lakeview Elementary, Foushee expects to graduate in 2024.

While the online format is convenient, the main reason Foushee chose Gardner-Webb is the University’s Christian mission. At school and in the community, Foushee lives out Gardner-Webb’s motto, “For God and Humanity.”

Because of her volunteer service, she received the first Community Engagement Award presented recently by the GWU Degree Completion Program. Foushee said her motivation comes from 1 Peter 4:10: “As each has received a gift, use it to serve another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”

“We are called by God to serve others,” she stated. “I have been blessed with so many things throughout life. I serve others in hopes to be a blessing to someone else.”

One of her most memorable volunteer opportunities was providing a Thanksgiving meal to low income families at her school. “It was such a blessing to serve these families,” Foushee observed. “I enjoyed seeing familiar faces and getting to share in their joy and appreciation of a Thanksgiving meal. I had several families tell me how wonderful it was to see the school staff go beyond educating the children to meeting all of their needs in and out of the classroom.”

She also joins others to provide games and candy for the annual community fall festival. Every few years, she returns to her home in Johnston County, N.C., to help with Special Olympics.

Foushee has been in early childhood education for four years. “I love working with kids, and wanted to move into the public school sector,” she related. “I have a passion for education. The profession is hard and can feel like climbing a mountain some days. I look at the reward on top of that mountain.” Gardner-Webb’s professors have shown her innovative and more efficient ways to use technology in the classroom. She also values how much the instructors care about their students. However, the most important lesson she’s learned transcends any subject. “More than anything, Gardner-Webb has taught me to give grace and be teachable,” Foushee asserted. “Teaching goes far beyond educating the mind. I want to be a stable adult in the life of every child who enters my classroom. I could be that child’s only cheerleader.”

Previous News Article

Eight GWU Students Receive Summer Undergraduate Research Grants

Next News Article

Gardner-Webb President Dr. William Downs Named One of Charlotte's 2022 Most Admired CEOs

Related News

  • News Article

    Members of Gardner-Webb’s Concert Choir Ready for Trip and D-Day Observance

    GWU is the Only N.C. College Invited to Perform in 80th Anniversary Concert in Abbaye-aux-Hommes BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—The Gardner-Webb Department of Music started making plans last year for its trip to France to perform during the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Soon, the many hours of practice and preparation will be rewarded as 16 students and […]

  • News Article

    Gardner-Webb Computer Science Major Andrew Cook, ’24, Enjoys a Challenge

    Exploring Software Engineering Prepares Students for Digital Landscape BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Computer science 2024 alumnus Andrew Cook enrolled at Gardner-Webb University, because he is passionate about the evolving nature of technology and the impact it has on society. He also knew the quality of the program, because his brother and father graduated from GWU with degrees […]

    computer code
  • News Article

    Gardner-Webb Remembers Lives of Fallen Service Members During Memorial Day Observance on May 24

    Retired U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. John Whitaker Relates Story of Sacrifice BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University faculty and staff, along with members of the community, gathered in front of Hamrick Hall on May 24 to pay tribute to those who have sacrificed their lives serving their country. In his speech, retired U.S. Air Force Master […]

    The audience listens to the speaker for memorial day