We Are the Class of 2020 Telling our story, one graduate at a time.

Megan Schwartz

December 7, 2020

A desire to find solutions to address inequality in schools inspired Megan Schwartz ’20 to pursue a career in education.

“Inequality inspired me to be a part of the change necessary in public education by becoming an active participant in understanding and working to close existing achievement gaps,” said Schwartz. “My hope is to provide the same education expectations for all children – despite their Zip code – to promote academic achievement and lifelong learning.”

Schwartz has always been fascinated with the social sciences, so she jumped at the opportunity to minor in sociology. One of the things she loved the most about her time at UNCW was her experience with elementary-aged children through her field placements. 

“Because I am not a North Carolina native, it was eye-opening to observe the different elementary experiences of children in my hometown compared to the schools where I completed my placements, as well as the inequality amongst schools within the same school district,” she said. “Those experiences, coupled with my sociological imagination, motivated my advocacy of public education and the children in our communities.”

The path to achieving her educational goal hasn’t been easy. Schwartz juggled being a full-time student, a mother of three and spouse to an active-duty airborne soldier at Fort Bragg. She completed her degree requirements as an extension student.
 
“Systems of support, such as family and friends, are basically non-existent, and looking back on it all now I am not entirely sure how I did it,” said Schwartz, who will receive her degree in December. “It has not been without its many struggles, and literal blood, sweat and tears. I had our third child my junior semester while my husband was deployed to Afghanistan. I just took it one week at a time and lived by my course calendars and diligently crossed assignments off as I completed them.”
 
For Schwartz, a native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, obtaining a degree was also about wanting “something that was my own that I could be proud of.”
 
Schwartz isn’t sure what follows for her after graduation.
 
“Because of the uncertainty of our next relocation, I am currently looking into out-of-state licensure options and graduate programs,” she said.

If she could offer advice to her fellow Seahawks, Schwartz said, “Finish strong, and do what you can to reduce those dreaded words: ‘what if.’ Submitting your best work opens doors of opportunity."

- Venita Jenkins

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