Reygan Weber is passionate about supporting veterans and has helped make countless memories for those who have served and protected our country.
Weber, an Elementary Education major in the University of Iowa College of Education, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, volunteers with the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight, an organization that flies veterans to Washington D.C. to visit historical sites and memorials dedicated to their service.
Eastern Iowa Honor Flight (EIHF) is an organization that serves veterans in 10 Eastern Iowa counties, or any Iowan able to fly out of Cedar Rapids. Veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and those who have served in any conflict and are terminally ill are eligible to apply for these flights. After departing Iowa, veterans land in Washington D.C., where they have the “once in a lifetime” chance to view memorials built in their honor.
Weber became involved with the organization in fourth grade and has been involved ever since. She became involved through her mother, a fifth-grade teacher who was introduced by a student in class and whose grandfather had just been on an Honor Flight of his own.
“Her class decided to make cards for other veterans and attend a ‘welcome home’ ceremony,” Weber says. “I went along with them, and both my mom and I fell in love. We signed up as volunteers shortly after that experience.”
Today, Weber is highly involved, serving as a volunteer coordinator and sharing her perspective as a member of the board of directors. Her experience has not only helped veterans, but also imparted a wealth of takeaways to her.
“Even the littlest of things can make someone happy,” Weber says. “Many hands make light work. I have met some amazing people through Eastern Iowa Honor Flight that continue to make a difference in the lives of these veterans.”
Despite the large commitment Weber makes to EIHF – she maintains her status as a full-time student. A senior, Weber has met many professors and future teachers who have all left a positive impact on her.
“I am grateful for my time with the University of Iowa’s College of Education. I have met so many wonderful future teachers who I am proud to call my peers,” Weber says, “I have had amazing professors who push us to become better educators to benefit not only ourselves but our future students.”
Weber is particularly grateful to her professors for their lessons, both in and beyond the classroom. She says these lessons will stay with her throughout her entire teaching career.
“Stacey Mead introduced me to my love of kindergarten,” Weber says. “She brought hands-on learning into our college classroom through her kindergarten students.”
“Amber Daubs taught me how to effectively teach social studies to students by having tough conversations while also making it comfortable for all students,” Weber says. “And Ted Neal had a profound impact while also offering to be a resource forever.”
After graduation, Weber hopes to find a job as a teacher at a school that “empowers young people.”
“I believe that every student who enters a classroom deserves a diverse and welcoming environment that facilitates their learning,” Weber says.
She credits her work on the Honor Flights as an experience that will provide valuable skills for her career path.
“Honor Flight has helped me learn to work more effectively with others and how making connections is beneficial in every career,” Weber says.
For more information on how to become a teacher, visit education.uiowa.edu/beateacher.
For more information on Honor Flight, visit eihonorflight.org.
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