Student Spotlight: Emily Gabur

Student Spotlight: Emily Gabur

Emily Renae Gabur, a special education major at NSU, is determined to give back to her community and to help others with different abilities. 

Originally from Castlewood, S.D., Gabur knew she wanted to teach special education students since she was in junior high school.

“I knew NSU had a great education department, so that helped shape my decision as well,” Gabur said. “I wanted to be a part of Northern, and knew they were the right fit for me to acquire the skills I need to become a caring special education teacher.”

Gabur also chose Northern for its small class sizes, its 18-to-one student to faculty ratio, perfect for someone from a small town.

Wolves Give Back

When Gabur is not nannying during the summers, she is working to get approved for volunteer work at New Beginnings as well as The Mentor Program through the YMCA.

She is also dedicated to starting up her project “Wolves Give Back,” a community-based program that incorporates college students helping Aberdeen’s younger children, specifically kindergarten through sixth grade.

This program would include college students working with elementary students on activities such as tutoring, fun athletic activities, and committing random acts of kindness within Aberdeen.

Gabur has had many unique experiences that inspired her dream of teaching special needs students, but was particularly influenced by her time teaching as a paraprofessional through the Castlewood School District.

“I was teaching a preschool student with Down syndrome. I remember at the beginning of the year, he didn’t know how to write or spell his name, communicate, even socially attend school,” Gabur said. “I distinctively remember multiple times throughout the year when we were working so hard, and it finally clicked for him.”

Gabur said she could remember the tears of joy she felt when he wrote his name for the first time, the feeling of accomplishment when he first signed hello to a friend in the hallway, and the happiness she felt when he could identify colors throughout the room.

Plans for the Future

“I have been incredibly influenced by my family, friends and professors here at Northern,” said Gabur. “Each have motivated me and supported me, helped me make decisions, and shaped me into who I am today.”

Gabur plans to use the plethora of experience she has gained through multiple volunteer work experiences to improve education experiences for the students she will work with, and doesn’t plan on stopping her volunteer work any time soon.

“I’m really looking forward to making a positive difference in the life of my future students,” Said Gabur. “But for now, I hope to continue gaining experience and volunteering throughout my last year of college.”

Gabur hopes to procure a job as a special education teacher here in Aberdeen. She also hopes to begin working on her M.A. and to one day become a special education professor at NSU.

Learn more about NSU's School of Education programs here.