When she is not in class, the undergraduate in the PreK-4 and Special Education programs works as a community scholar for Drexel’s Lindy Center for Civic Engagement. In her role, she liaisons between Drexel student volunteers and Spells Writing Lab, a non-profit organization that facilitates after-school tutoring and writing workshops for elementary students in North Philadelphia. If she’s not at the Lindy Center, you can also find her tutoring at Spells, or helping fellow Drexel students make the most of their experiences there. And in her “downtime” during the summer, Peluso volunteers as a camp counselor for the Drexel/PECO STEM Camp, which engages fifth- and sixth-graders from the local community in activities and field trips that focus on science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM).
Peluso says she chose Drexel because of its progressive take on urban education.
“The work that we do is always tied to how we can make a difference in our surrounding community,” Peluso says.
Through her courses, Peluso has gained the knowledge and skills to become an effective and insightful educator. She’s learned about child development milestones, best practices, and assessment techniques.
“I have had the opportunity to gain experience in just about every type of classroom,” Peluso says. “I’ve observed in grades K-4 in public schools, charter schools, and even a private school for children with cerebral palsy.”
Peluso also appreciated the program’s emphasis on being teacher leaders. She and her peers were taught to question the way things are done in schools, and work toward ways to advocate for better outcomes for students. She says there has always been a sense of responsibility placed on her and her peers to help all students achieve, both in the classroom and beyond.
As for her plans post-graduation, Peluso wants to teach elementary students in some capacity, but she is open to almost anything in the field of education. She is also interested in more specific areas, like English as a Second Language and Speech Pathology.
“The door is wide open for me with this degree,” Peluso says. “Only time will tell how far I go in the many branches of education.”