Alumni Profile: Sylvia Washington

After earning her degree in family consumer education at Henderson State University, Sylvia Washington returned to her hometown of El Dorado to teach family and consumer sciences at the city’s high school.

“Being able to come back to my community to serve as a public school teacher is one of my biggest blessings,” Washington said. “It’s a hard job, yet it’s so worthwhile. The best thing is being able to make an impact on my students.”

Washington graduated from Henderson in 2014 and immediately went to work at El Dorado High School, where she also serves as FCCLA chapter advisor. She said she plans to keep teaching there and is considering pursuing her master’s degree in developmental therapy at Henderson.

“I love being able to teach life skills,” Washington said. “I teach at a Title I school and a lot of my students come from backgrounds where they don’t have someone who can teach them such skills. What I enjoy most about my job is the relationships between my students and I.”

Washington has high praise for Henderson’s Family and Consumer Science Department.

“This is the best FACS program in the state in my personal opinion,” she said. “The faculty really care. The entire department is like a family and I still keep in touch with some of my instructors.”

Washington advises current and future students to “take college serious from day one.”

“Don’t wait until your junior year to buckle down and work hard,” she said. “I, along with a lot of my friends, made that mistake. But we learned quick.”

• This alumni feature is part of an ongoing project featuring Henderson's outstanding undergraduate and graduate academic programs.