Make The Connection

May 4, 2022 | By Sarah Jonassen ’22

Ohio Wesleyan senior Jasmine Lew (arms raised) completed her student teaching at the Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture. Lew hopes to use her Theatre major to help young people grow and thrive. (Photo courtesy of Jasmine Lew)

A New Challenge

Ohio Wesleyan Senior Student Teaches at Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture

Jasmine Lew ’22

Name: Jasmine Lew ’22
Hometown: Fremont, California
Majors: Theatre
Minors: Education and Spanish
OWU Connection Experience: Student Teaching at the Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture

A graduating senior, Lew spent spring semester in the Windy City student teaching at the nonprofit educational institution that focuses on experiential learning.

“I wanted the opportunity to travel during my time in college, and I wanted my student teaching experience to be immersive and challenging,” Lew said. “Getting to work in Chicago gave me the extra push I wanted to prepare myself for life after college and (let me) to work with demographics of students that I wouldn’t get to work with here.”

Why I Chose This Experience

“As a future theater teacher, I thought that living in Chicago would be a great opportunity to experience the amazing theater scene there and make lasting connections with other theater professionals.

“Student teaching with the Chicago Center meant that I lived and worked in Chicago, using public transportation to get around the city, with a budget to buy my own groceries. There were no dorms, dining halls, or any of my usual supports. I had to be a lot more independent.

“I had a cohort of fellow student teachers who lived in an apartment with me, and they formed my community. We would meet once a week for a seminar to discuss our experiences and worries. My experience in this program has been so unique, and I truly think there’s no comparison between the immersiveness of student teaching in a city and student teaching from college.”

My Favorite Moments

“I have many favorite moments from this experience. They are the little steps that students take along the way to growing as a student, person, and theater artist. It might be a moment where a student realizes that they’re more capable than they thought, or pushes through and challenges themselves to get their work done when they’re struggling to focus. All these small moments of self-belief and fight and growth are the most rewarding, and they are countless.”

Lessons Learned

“This experience has helped me become a better teacher, and helped me to understand myself better. The more I experience, and the more those experiences push me outside of my comfort zone, the more I am sure of what I want, need, and value.

“The biggest thing I came to understand about myself is that, no matter how much I love to work, I will always need space and time in my life to do enjoyable things for no reason other than that they are enjoyable, and that I need to be able to create for the sake of creating.”

My Plans After Graduation 

“I hope to work as an apprentice in the education department of a theater company in order to learn about educational programming in that context. I want to end up in a position where I can use theater to help communities, especially young people, grow and thrive. OWU has helped prepare me to reach these goals by showing me that whatever path I take to get where I want to be can be a good one.”