“I am so thankful to the people who are willing to help me chase my dreams, even though they’ve never met me.”

Kenneth Gaskin discovered that he had a talent for teaching, and a knack for working with kids, once he arrived at the University of Iowa. Thanks to generous alumni and friends, he has been able to pursue these passions as an elementary education major and a dedicated volunteer.

“Private support has made it possible for me to find the time to volunteer in area schools and to afford an extra semester of tuition while I complete my student teaching,” says Kenneth, who is the recipient of the David and Connie Belin Honors Award and the Charlotte and Ruby Junge Scholarship. “Being able to work with children in after-school and service-learning programs has been incredibly meaningful to me.”

Not only has Kenneth had the chance to work in area schools, but he’s also taken advantage of numerous on-campus opportunities. He is a member of TRiO Student Support Services, which helps first-generation college students become acclimated to life at Iowa, and he also has served as a resident assistant in multiple residence halls and has participated in numerous intramural sports.

Kenneth recognizes that many of these experiences wouldn’t have been possible without the support he has received. “These donors helped fund my teaching experience. It’s inspiring to see—and it makes me want to give back in the future.”