Leah Beman

Iowa State clubs inspire Leah Beman’s career

During her first year at Iowa State, Leah loved her major in apparel, merchandising, and design. But after a friend in SALT Company recommended she sign up to volunteer in a fourth grade classroom, Leah found her true passion.

“Most people in elementary school say ‘I want to be a firefighter!’ or something like that,” she said. “But there was this special education teacher who would always be in our classroom, and I really looked up to her.”

Realizing that her younger self was right, Leah switched her major to elementary education. She quickly fell in love with her coursework and knew she finally found where she belonged.

Leah loves that she can incorporate her other interests into her career. For example, as president of the Iowa State chapter of the National Alliance of Mental Illness, Leah wants to learn more about mental health and build it into her teaching experience.

“I’m really passionate about it [mental health],” she said. “Especially when it comes to special education and student teaching. I feel like it’s really important in that one-on-one type setting.”

Additionally, Leah wants to combine her major with a minor in event management to get involved in the community where she teaches.

“Eventually, I want to be on an education board, and being able to plan things is useful,” she said. “It would be fun to do school events, like bake sales.”

Leah loves being a part of multiple different organizations on campus. The National Alliance of Mental Illness; the School of Education; and the Department of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management all helped her shape her career goals into something unique to her.

“Follow what you’re passionate about,” she said. “If I hadn’t joined all those different clubs, I wouldn’t have realized exactly what I wanted to do.”