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Advanced Education Degrees

Inspiring Stories From Teachers Who Are Upskilling Post-COVID

Recently, we teamed up with American College of Education to offer five scholarships to prospective students who answered the question “where will this scholarship help take your career next?” Below, we have a few of the winning answers on their plans, goals, and motivations for pursuing an advanced degree in education!

This scholarship will help take my career in a direction that I've always dreamed of. I am a first generation college graduate, so the fact that I'm starting my Master's is a huge deal for my family. This is a tremendous accomplishment for myself and my family and one that we are all very proud of. My Bachelor's degree has already taken me so far, and I'm thrilled to see where my Master's will take me next. I am always looking towards what's next and how I can better myself. With a Master's degree in Educational Leadership, I am hoping to become an Athletic Director. One might ask, "Why an AD? You're a 25-year-old woman, you can't possibly want to do that?" In fact, I actually had a colleague tell me one time that Athletic Directors are usually, and I quote, "Old, white men." This is exactly why I want to become an AD! We need more women in this career field. I want to inspire other women that WE can do this and it's not just a man's job. I want to inspire those women who watch, play, coach, and love sports, just as I do, that you can eventually follow your dreams and do what you're set out to do. This scholarship will help me successfully fulfill my dreams. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Emily D.

My hometown Sumter, SC, was known as “Merk City” solely because of the murder rate, and currently it’s still known as “Merk City.” Our young people face drugs, crime, hatred, and betrayal each day. My battle is to reach as many young people I can and steer them in a positive direction. I said to myself when I was in high school, I will always have love for my community and work to push the city in a more positive image. After I graduated high school and went to Newberry College on a football scholarship, I remained true to my commitment and continued the battle of changing lives in Sumter. Each summer during those years, I came back to help with football camps to better the youth.

Fast forward to now, once a student in Sumter and now an educator and football coach. My passion is helping young people reach their fullest potential in life with no limits. I’ve been through storms and hard times, but that doesn’t mean I can’t make it out and come back in a positive light to lead others down a brighter path. My goal is to further my education and obtain a Master’s in Education in Advanced Studies to gain more knowledge to pour into students and players.

I have a passion for helping individuals become successful with whatever they put their mind to, especially the youth. Even as a teenager and leader in the community, I have found a passion for helping young people develop their game in athletics while emphasizing the importance of academics. Now as an educator and high school football coach, my passion is even larger and my audience is more demanding.

Being from the community that I work in, my students and players look up to me. My community is not known for many positive things, so when my students see me, they can see that someone positive can come from where they are from. As a College & Career Specialist, my goal is to inform my students and to give them the different options that they have after high school. Whether it is college, military, or straight into the workforce, my students have to be prepared for the real world.

Preparing them is just one part; making sure they have their best foot forward in whatever they choose is where I come in. I don’t just wish to have them ready but prepare to conquer any obstacle they face to be their best.

This scholarship will help ease a load from my family and me, so I can pursue this graduate program to gain more knowledge and wisdom and give back to my community. I would be able to pour into my students who I work with daily how to become great achievers in whatever field they desire with the proper guidance and wisdom.

Willie G.

The COVID-19 pandemic has rattled education to its very core, and changed the look of the contemporary classroom overnight. Teachers and students transitioned to virtual learning, and many educational professionals rushed to digitize and virtualize their classrooms. Many suggested that the pandemic would pass, and it would be easier to “wait out the storm.” However, my time in education has taught me to hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst. The unfortunate truth is that returning to the status-quo is unlikely for me and my state. As an educator in one of the hardest hit areas, northern New Jersey, it was exceptionally hard to hear that we will not be returning to in-person classes this year. If I am being honest, I think the situation is much worse than people anticipate, and I worry that we will not be back for September. This is what led me to applying for a Certificate in Virtual Learning.

In my opinion, virtual learning is here to stay, and “waiting out the storm” is not an option. I feel it is necessary to be trained in effective virtual teaching strategies so I can make my classroom more engaging. Furthermore, I feel it is necessary to be prepared for a permanent virtual learning environment. In addition to my own learning, I plan to take what I gain in my courses and pass it along to my peers. I am notorious for sharing instructional tools, ideas, and helpful techniques. Having certified insight during these uncertain times will be invaluable and, in many ways, help me to take on more of a leadership role in my school. Through this certification, I wish to learn as much as possible to benefit all of the students at my school. If selected, this scholarship will take my career to the next step, a better prepared future.

Wesley H.

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