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

I was inspired to pursue a graduate degree when my family sold their horse farm, of 11 years, and my husband and I married in 2017. Teaching has always been a passion of mine, but only transpired to a traditional school in 2018. From 2007-2018, I ran my family’s equestrian farm, “Stride Away Equestrian Center.” This farm was not only my passion, but a light into the Pittsburgh community. We offered summer camps, riding lessons, and equine assisted activities to those with disabilities. My grandfather built the stable and my parents said I needed to find a way to pay for it if I wanted to keep our horses. Therefore, I set off on one of the greatest adventures, “life!” I simultaneously ran this business while I attended high school and completed my B.A. in early childhood education from Chatham University, Pittsburgh, in 2015. I always loved teaching but it hasn’t been until this past year that I’ve taught in a traditional school.
My husband and I married November 18th, 2017 and found out we were expecting in December, 2017. This was excellent news, as I had medical issues as an adolescent and doctors said it may be hard to conceive. In a trying time, my family sold their farm and our horses. Our daughter, “Reagan Jean,” was then born August 16th, 2018. She is a bright and joyous girl! I began to substitute teach, as well as enroll in Slippery Rock’s Master's of Education (birth-8th grade) program in the fall of 2018. Graduate school is expensive so I am slowly taking these courses. I used the Mometrix study guides to add grade 5-6 on to my PreK-4th grade Pennsylvania certification. They were extremely helpful! I hope that pursuing a graduate degree will help create a better life for our daughter, provide encouragement for other working moms and be a testimony of what truly is possible when you try your best. I believe stories will be told in the changed lives of my students and hope they see the consistent effort in my Iife to become a more educated teacher.

Amanda from Pennsylvania
Slippery Rock University