"Pacific Helped Me Get My Start in Teaching"

Mandi Feucht ’09, MEd ’14 teaches third grade at Bethany Elementary School in Beaverton, Ore. Feucht is among the 100-plus students who have received scholarships from the Vandervelden Foundation to support their Pacific University educations.

“The only reason I was able to consider Pacific was because of the generous amount of scholarships I received,” Feucht said.

What brought you to Pacific University?

Originally from Helena, Mont., I was looking for a small school, close to a big city, where I could play soccer, sing, and become a teacher. On a college tour my senior year of high school, I came to the Pacesetters (Scholarship Competition at Pacific). I walked off campus that day and said to my parents, “I’m going to Pacific, I’m going to sing, play soccer, go to Africa and become a teacher.” I did each of those things.

How did scholarships impact your access to Pacific and your educational experience?

I was beyond fortunate to have parents who had saved money for me to go to college. But they hadn’t saved enough to pay full tuition for four years at a private liberal arts college. Nearly half of my tuition was paid for through scholarships. Knowing that the generosity of others — both my own parents and strangers who fund those scholarships — was the reason I could come to Pacific, I was driven to work hard and earned my BA as well as teaching credentials in four years.

What did you most gain from a Pacific University education?

Going to Pacific University meant I had professors who actually knew me, gave personalized feedback, sat down with me to work out how I would squeeze all the extra credits in, and guided me at some of my most difficult life junctures. It felt like my education mattered, not just to me, but to them. Pacific’s reputation for producing quality teachers, and their wide-reaching connections to school districts, helped me get my start in teaching. This is my sixth year of teaching, and I still love it just as much as I did my first year.

This story first appeared in the Winter 2010 issue of Pacific magazine. For more stories, visit pacificu.edu/magazine.

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015