Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

As I child I never grasped the importance of school. I never understood how many opportunities I could take hold of, if I could obtain good grades. I grumbled my way through, resenting classes. I only graduated high school because of my parents negotiating a graduation plan!
I began to appreciate school when I worked at eight different elementaries simultaneously as a mental health provider. It was my job to provide support for students involved in extreme circumstances. For example, I spent time with students that either saw domestic violence, drug abuse, mental disorders, or wrestled with their own mental health needs. I took the time to know students as individuals during therapeutic activities. While working in elementary schools, I realized how much time students spent at school. Teachers had a great opportunity to impact the lives of their students, because they spent endless hours together.
Fast forward to 2018. I am 26 years old, and enrolled in a Master’s program. Can you believe it? The kid who barely graduated high school now has a 3.7 GPA in a Master’s program. All it took was a little perspective change. Before, I resented school. Now I am convinced that education is an incredible opportunity to give students a safe, encouraging, and accepting environment, for them to flourish as people.
I enrolled in a TESOL Master’s program in order to grasp opportunity. But, Recently I have realized that chasing a dream isn’t always easy. As I write this letter, I am sitting in a small apartment in rural Taiwan, hoping I can miraculously scrape up enough money to eat, pay rent, pay for transportation, pay for old student loans, and lastly afford my Master’s program. It has been a bumpy road trying to get my career started. Securing a stable job has taken longer than expected so expenses are piling up. Receiving the Mometrix scholarship will open up a world of opportunity for me... to chase my dream of sharing hope and opportunity with students.

Jared from California
Azusa Pacific University