Alumni Highlights

Brooke Elenbaas, Spanish, BA Spanish, 2004

Brooke Elenbaas, Spanish, BA Spanish, 2004

2004 Graduate

Language: Spanish

Major: Spanish

Minor: French

After graduation, Brooke began working in the business sector as a sales person, specializing in merchandise sales for dollar stores with great success. However, her dream of living and working in France ultimately led to the decision to apply and accept a position teaching English in LeCheylard, France for nine months. Leaving in September, of 2006, she moved to the countryside, south of Paris and lived her dream in a small stone cottage. During Brooke’s time there, she enjoyed many traveling excursions including visits to Italy, Greece, England, Netherlands and many parts of France, while immersing herself in new cultures. Brooke used her languages in several capacities of various positions within sales and marketing following her work-abroad experience. Languages helped not only obtain positions, but set her apart with a skill set.    

Ultimately, Brooke experienced another life redirection. This led to Brooke’s current position using Spanish in the most constant way yet – as a first grade teacher in a Spanish immersion school program.  While Brooke initially left college seeking a business opportunity to use her language skills, and sure that teaching was not her pathway, she has never loved a job more. This teaching position allows Brooke to see the “learning lightbulb” go off with first grade students on a regular basis. After being a teacher for a few years, she has begun studies to seek a master’s degree in educational leadership at Grand Valley. The constant thread of Brooke’s career and life have been the degree in language that she received at Grand Valley and she is so thankful for the many and varied ways this degree has helped her be successful in her life. 

Updated October 2019

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Page last modified October 20, 2020