Alumni Profile

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David Hickson

Class of 2006

Major: Spanish

The summer before he graduated from Franciscan University in 2006 with a degree in Spanish, David Hickson graduated from Marine Officer Candidate School. He knew exactly what he was going to be: a Marine Officer. But after much time in prayer and struggling to find peace, he realized that he simply couldn’t kill other human beings. He turned down his commission and thought he was going to the seminary to be a Navy chaplain, but he didn’t find peace that route either. Then, Hickson decided to follow in his parents’ footsteps and teach.

“The first day I taught, I knew it was the battle I wanted to fight,” Hickson says.

For the past four years, he has been teaching Spanish to about 400 children, ages 4 to 15, at St. Louis School in Alexandria, Virginia. He has also been a Spanish Immersion Instructor at Middlebury-Monterrey Language Academy teaching a summer, month-long course to high school students. Hickson sees teaching as a kind of ministry:

“Language is something that is tangible: By giving it to children, you help them reach another level in confidence as they see their progress, practice it, and get excited about excelling.”

Hickson has always had a passion for languages, and he plans to pursue graduate studies in Spanish and French in the near future. The most important thing in studying a language, he says, is being able to speak intelligently and socially. He encourages language students to study the literature and history of the target language.

“Learning another language is key to being able to use one’s talents in many situations. Employers are looking for people who are bilingual. With Spanish, you can find work in pretty much any field, especially here in the United States.”

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