Jada Jenkins

For some people, it can take decades for them to find their passion. For Jade Jenkins, hers showed itself before she was even a decade old.

“It started when I was 9, I was a tutor in my aunt’s kindergarten class,” she said. “I just connected with the students.”

Jenkins, 20, is a junior secondary education major specializing in mathematics who has been working as a tutor in the Center for Academic Excellence since the spring semester of her freshman year.

“I do it because it’s something that I have done for free,” she said. “What better way to make money than with doing something you love and that you’re passionate about?”

A 4.0 student, Jenkins said most of her students come to her for help with Calculus and Physics.

“It’s not that students are incapable they just need the right instruction for them,” she said.

After working with the college students, Jenkins has decided that she wants to teach high school Algebra.

“I’ve found that a lot of people in higher math stumble because they didn’t get algebra,” she said. “Algebra is the ABCs of higher math, so if they get that, they’re more likely to understand Calculus and other courses.”

The thing that sets Jenkins a part is her focus on concept rather than specific questions. Understanding the concept will allow her students to apply them in various situations.

“When you go into a job, they’re not going to give you a worksheet. You will have real life problems and situations,” Jenkins said. “Strategic questioning is important. They’ll get the answer right and they also need to be able to explain it.”

Jenkins said teaching is a reciprocal experience and she learned that while taking two classes in Costa Rica the summer before her sophomore year.

“It was a different style of teaching and learning there. It’s the same here, every student is a new experience.”

While in Costa Rica, Jenkins took classes in Spanish and International Relations in Latin America. She also completed an internship at Howard University funded by Educational Testing Services.

Jenkins is a member of the North Carolina A&T State University chapter of Student North Carolina Association of Educators, the student chapter of the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Math Association of America and is an Aggie Alumni Scholar.