Paige Gill is a first-generation college student majoring in Early Childhood and Special Education. She chose Marywood University for its nationally ranked Early Childhood Education programs, which gives students experience in the teaching field as early as their freshman year—markedly earlier than junior or senior year like many other schools. Academic excellence combined with a welcoming campus and generous financial aid made choosing Marywood a no-brainer for Gill to achieve her goals. The opportunity to get into the field earlier has given her even more time to do what she loves.
“My goals and dreams are to finally become the teacher I have always wanted to be with an amazing classroom,” said Gill. “I want to help students learn and become successful and if I did not have Marywood to help me prepare for my future and help me to be successful I would not be achieving my goals and dreams.”
The Learning Commons is Paige’s favorite spot on campus not just for the view, but for the beautiful memories she has made there with friends. Spending hours on end in one of the study rooms might not sound like fun to everyone, but for Gill, being with her friends and helping one another with assignments, talking through their lessons, and feeling that special sense of Marywood camaraderie make those moments ones she will never forget.
Gill credits the lifelong friendships she formed here and the constant encouragement from faculty and peers as teaching her to never give up on her dreams and that she can —and will —do anything she sets her mind to.
Although Gill is excitedly awaiting her graduation this spring, she still has plenty of Marywood magic to experience before then, especially since she has applied to continue her graduate studies here. She has fully embraced university life and all of the opportunities that we offer here on campus. Though she had to formally stop cheerleading due to an injury, she continues to spread plenty of cheer by attending much-beloved bingo nights and other exciting on-campus events.
Because the Marywood community feels like family and being at home, Gill plans to be just as involved as an alumna in the future. She plans to volunteer her time and, once she’s settled in her career, start giving back to the school in gratitude for the donors who have helped make her education possible.
“There is not enough thanks I could say to all the Marywood donors," said Gill. "With the tremendous and outstanding donations, you are the ones who make it possible for students like me to become successful. You help make our dreams come true. Many of us would not be here if not for your generous gifts. I would not be the first-generation college student in my family achieving my dreams and goals. Because of you, I am able to pursue my passion for teaching. I truly cannot give enough thanks and appreciation to you all.”
With winter fast approaching, Gill is looking forward to experiencing once again how beautiful Marywood’s campus is during Christmas time. Having four years of Marywood experience under her belt, Gill confidently confides that the very best place on campus to watch the sunset is from the second floor of the Learning Commons. The lights and snow during the holiday season make the view even more breathtaking.