Mackenzie Abrams

Mackenzie Abrams plans to work as an elementary school teacher in Iowa after graduation. When Mackenzie isn’t studying or working with students, she enjoys winding down with a puzzle and spending time with her loved ones.

Get to know Mackenzie

  • Major: Early childhood education
  • Minor: Child, adult, and family services
  • Class: Senior
  • Hometown: Ames, Iowa
  • Career goal: Elementary school teacher, first or second grade
  • Clubs/activities: YSS mentor, CHS Ambassadors
  • Awards/honors: Kappa Omicron Nu and Phi Upsilon Omicron honor societies, dean’s list
  • Favorite place on campus: Favorite place
  • Most influential ISU mentor: Kala Sullivan
  • Favorite class: EDUC 439, Teaching Science in the Primary Grades
  • Why Iowa State: Safe, homey atmosphere on campus, high student engagement, family attended Iowa State

Mackenzie Abrams finds place in early childhood education after exploring paths

A people-person through and through, Mackenzie Abrams has spent her life in the pursuit of human connection. As she watched her mother teach in an elementary classroom, she saw possibilities in how she could impact lives through the education system, but she wanted to keep her career options open. 

Mackenzie studied liberal arts at Des Moines Area Community College to explore her interests, and eventually decided she wanted to use her career to help people.

“I applied at Mercy [College] and got in, and I was going to do some type of medical [major] there. The more I thought about it I knew I wasn’t going to be happy in that [field],” Mackenzie said. “That’s when I thought, ‘Okay, let’s see what Iowa State has to offer, see if they have any of my interests, and education was the one thing I always wanted to do.”

From her first class in the early childhood education program, Mackenzie knew she was finally on the path to her dream career.

“Getting into the program and actually doing my block classes, I haven’t found one [class] that I haven’t liked,” she said.

A Gilbert High School graduate, Mackenzie’s teachers set her expectations high, and she greatly looked up to them through her schooling. Mackenzie loved attending school in Iowa, and she plans to start her teaching career close to home, so she can impact her community as her past teachers did. 

“I’m so comfortable here in Iowa, and I think that being in a comfortable setting will help me flourish as a teacher,” she said.

Mackenzie never considered herself a “school person” before coming to Iowa State and studying what she loves; she struggles with test anxiety and sometimes has trouble speaking up in classes. Despite these challenges, she worked to make her 2.5 high school GPA skyrocket to her current 3.5 college GPA.

Mackenzie wants to utilize her past school struggles to help her future students, form stronger bonds with them, and show them that no matter their struggles, they have potential to succeed.

“I’m going to have a connection with those kids who don’t have a very good handle on testing because I’ve definitely been through it,” Mackenzie said. “I can connect with my students on a much more personal level — especially with the ones who need more help.”

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