Notable Alumni

Christine Henderson

Christine Henderson (2009)

Queens, N.Y.
B.A. in Early Childhood/Childhood Education
Graduate Assistant for Literacy, Education Department at St. John's University

I am studying to obtain my master’s degree in literacy (K-12). After graduating from Niagara in 2009, I joined the Peace Corps where I served in Belize, Central America, from August 2009 until October 2011. There, I worked as a primary school teacher trainer, focusing on literacy in the school where I was assigned. Other projects that I became involved in ranged from teacher workshops to coordinating a national girls leadership camp to HIV/AIDS outreach.

After completing my service in Belize, I began applying for graduate schools and was accepted to St. John's University in Queens, N.Y. Here, I was offered the position of graduate assistant for the literacy department. I am fortunate enough to be able to work alongside the literacy and education professors while also studying for my degree.

St. John's University, like Niagara, is a Vincentian university and closely follows the teachings of St. Vincent de Paul. Due to my work in the Peace Corps, I was inspired to learn more about ways to help struggling readers. I chose to obtain my master’s in literacy mainly because of this.

Through the service programs and projects that I participated in at Niagara, I realized how much I actually enjoyed these kinds of opportunities. This reinforced my decision to join the Peace Corps, which was not only a once in a lifetime opportunity, but helped me to decide on the direction in which I would like to take my career.

My goal is to be a literacy specialist working with students struggling with reading in underprivileged school districts. I have seen the positive impact a motivated and passionate teacher can have and I hope to make the most difference possible in the lives of my students.