Amazing Students

Amanda Turner

Amanda Turner, a senior majoring in human development and family science, has taken advantage of many opportunities during her undergraduate years, from UGA Miracle to Freshman Forum to even starting her own student organization.

Hometown:

Kennesaw, Georgia

High School:

Allatoona High School

Degree objective:

Human Development and Family Science

Other degrees:

— Child Life Emphasis
— Certificate in Disability Studies

Expected graduation:

2016

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

If I have learned anything during my time here at the University of Georgia, it is that friendships are always the greatest reward. There is no title, achievement or position that can bring you joy without the friendships that make that opportunity special. During my time here, I have been fortunate to serve this campus and student body in such unique ways: UGA Miracle Executive Board and Executive Council, New Student Orientation team, Visitors Center staff, Freshman Forum personal advisor, Phi Upsilon Omicron Honors Society, Sphinx Society and founder of the very first Child Life Student Organization.

Each of these opportunities has taught me something new about myself and about who I want to be. In all of these opportunities, it has been the people and the friendships that have left the most profound effect on me. These people have shown me that regardless of position or achievements, you always have the ability to change the world. All you need to change the world is the willingness to be present, invest, inspire and serve someone else.

Current Employment:

Currently love my job as a tour guide at the University of Georgia Visitors Center!

Family Ties to UGA:

I am actually the very first individual in my family to attend the University of Georgia! Ever since, my family has become faithful supporters of the Bulldawg Nation. My grandfather even calls me on days when he decides to wear his Georgia Bulldawg shirt, just to let me know that he’s thinking of the Dawgs!

I chose to attend UGA because…

Ironically enough, I did not anticipate attending UGA. I was accepted early, but planned on attending college outside the state of Georgia. I could not be more grateful that my plans changed, brought me to Athens and gave me the home that I never knew I needed.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

I absolutely love to spend afternoons in the Founders Garden on North Campus. It is such a perfect spot to read, think, breathe or have an incredible conversation with a sweet friend. I also love to take midnight walks through campus, picnic on Herty Field, go to a baseball game and ring the Chapel Bell to celebrate something incredible in the life of a fellow Dawg!

When I have free time, I like…

… to bury myself in an awesome book somewhere in the sun. I also love to take walks at the Botanical Garden or run trails at the intramural fields. When you can’t find me there, I’m probably grabbing ice cream downtown or at an Athens-favorite restaurant!

The craziest thing I've done is…

… cliff jumping in Jamaica, standing for 24 hours every year at UGA Miracle’s Dance Marathon event and conducting my own directed study research project for my Disability Studies Certificate. One of my fondest crazy adventures includes driving down to Orlando, Florida, to visit Magic Kingdom with my absolute best friends this past year. We stayed in the park from 9 a.m.-2 a.m. for one glorious Saturday and I will always remember every single second of that sleep-deprived bliss.

My favorite place to study is…

… the UGA Hotel lobby. They have an incredibly calming atmosphere, coffee shop and a beautiful outdoor patio that makes for a nice break in the sunshine!

My favorite professor is…

Choosing just one favorite professor is nearly impossible. The College of Family and Consumer Sciences has so many incredible faculty who are all passionate about students and about their research. It’s impossible not to learn from these professors, both in the classroom and in life.

However, I would have to say that Jennifer George is one of the most influential professors and individuals that I have met. Dr. George has an undeniable passion for students’ personal development, quality of education and social justice. She believes in her students and expects the very best from them. Dr. George truly believes that students in our department have the power to improve the world for children and families, and calls us to use our potential accordingly. I will always remember being so delighted when Dr. George accepted a faculty invitation to UGA Miracle’s 24 hour event, Dance Marathon. I was even more delighted when I saw her step foot into the doors of Dance Marathon! It was incredible to see that Dr. George truly cared about the passions of her students and that she had taken personal time to visit an event that meant so much to me. Wherever I go in life, I hope to pursue the same fervor and enthusiasm for people and education that Dr. George possesses.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…

I would choose to spend it with everyone! I would invite all the people who have made an impact during my time at Georgia to an afternoon at Mama’s Boy! We would rent out the entire restaurant, drink an endless supply of coffee, eat their delicious banana bread and celebrate the city that has changed us all. I would want this afternoon to be an opportunity to celebrate the people who have taught me how to embrace myself and truly shine.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

… become a children’s author! I have such a soft spot for children’s literature and firmly believe that it has the power to influence the way children perceive the world in which they grow up. I would write a series of stories about the importance of embracing who you are and celebrating the differences of others. “Uniquely You!” Maybe one day you’ll see it at Barnes & Noble!

If money was not a consideration, I would love to…

This semester I have had the opportunity to intern with a pediatric therapy clinic, which has been the most incredible experience. One of the things I was surprised most by this experience is the wide disparity between families and what quality of care they can afford for their child. For many of the children in the health care world, they are not able to receive the medical care or early intervention treatment needed because of their family’s inability to pay. If money was not a consideration, I would ensure that every child was able to receive the medical care and support needed regardless of family finances. Every single child deserves the right to reach their fullest potential.

After graduation, I plan to…

… pursue my certification as a child life specialist, which is a child development expert that helps children cope with stressful events, specifically in the hospital environment. I will be starting a yearlong child life internship this August at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia. In this program, I will help explain a diagnosis or procedure to a child through therapeutic intervention, medical play, procedural support, distraction and diagnosis education. Following the completion of the internship, I will sit for my certification exam and begin working with children and families shortly after. One day I hope to expand my love of this field to include children of military families, to help them cope with the unique circumstances and challenges of this family path.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

I will forever hold so many memories from the University of Georgia in my heart. One of the most special memories will always be standing on the Sanford Stadium field when my name was called as 2015 Homecoming queen. The entire process of being chosen for the Homecoming court and then voted by the student body as queen was nothing short of humbling and amazing. There really is no greater honor than loving 35,000 Bulldogs more than you can imagine, and then realizing that they love you back. I will forever be proud to be part of the family that is the Bulldawg Nation!

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