In this edition of Scholarship News, Christine gives ThanksUSA friends and supporters an update and explains why deferring graduate school was the best choice for her - and her current students.
Oakcrest was a name on a piece of paper when I first heard of the school. However, when I looked at their website that day I was surprised to find that they needed an upper school history teacher. The modifying “two to three years teaching experience” requested for applicants, worried me. But years of applying for scholarships had taught me that you never lose anything by trying. I sent in an application the next day and asked for an interview. A successful interview led to another and then an unbelievable job offer.
The offer of a full-time teaching position meant that I had to defer entrance into the graduate program I had been accepted to for an M.A in education. I seriously considered my options and realized that, though I had a half-tuition scholarship to the program, it was still beyond my financial circumstances. And more importantly, I wanted the degree so that I could teach high school history. Now I was being offered the opportunity to teach high school history, at a school which enjoyed a great reputation among the private schools in the area. What else did I want? Two years later, I do not regret the choice at all.
Besides enjoying the opportunity to spend my days doing two things I love: teaching high school students and talking about History, Oakcrest gives me the chance to take my interests into my career, from coaching middle school soccer to advising the Debate club. I find great fulfillment in mentoring young women who will be the leaders of our future. Each day I try to help my students strive for their potential and develop the confidence which will carry them to success, the same confidence I developed as a student through gaining the support of organizations such as ThanksUSA.
I had to work hard in college to make up the cost of private secondary education through scholarships. ThanksUSA was a huge help in this, awarding me scholarships in 2008, 2010, and 2011. Even with that vote of confidence, I never thought within three months of graduating college I would be hired for my dream job in one of the worst economies our country has seen. However, I am incredibly grateful every day that I work at Oakcrest that I have the opportunity to engage in such meaningful and rewarding work, and pass on to my students all that I learned in my own education.