Scholarship Recipient Spotlight: Samantha Wilkinson
Congratulations to Samantha Wilkinson! After applying to the university and writing an essay on the theme of “My students taught me this,” Samantha earned her spot as one of our very first scholarship recipients. Her touching essay about the inspiration she finds from her special education students is heart-warming. “They have taught me perseverance, and hope. They have skilled me in the ways of an open heart, and forgiving spirit,” she wrote. Learn more about Samantha and read her full essay below.
Name: Samantha Wilkinson
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Major: Master of Education in Educational Leadership
What inspired you to pursue your master’s at Concordia University-Portland?
“I am utterly humbled to have been chosen as a scholarship recipient from Concordia University. I was drawn to this school initially due to its online capabilities. The one year option attracted me as well. The final and most critical component was the warmth and care the directors and staff members gave to me as they guided my path towards enrollment. Jason Lee, who is my advisor, has held my hands and been truly kind and gracious to me. I am thrilled to begin my journey to higher education with Concordia University!”
‘My Students Taught Me This’ Essay
The hallways look amazing. The first grade penguin projects of life size models of Rock hoppers and Emperor Penguins are truly inspired this year. The fourth grade algebraic stories are impressive as well. The Kindergarten Dr. Seuss poems need mentioning also.
My eyes take in the scene, and I am proud of their accomplishments. Suddenly I am brought back into the moment at hand. “Ms.Sam! I stepped over! Hyer is made of red brick! The library is here!”
John squares his chocolate brown eyes toward mine, and like that delicious treat, I melt. His stilted gait, an effect of a stroke in uteri, causes him to hitch from one side to the next, but does not hamper his enthusiasm.
We make our way to the outside of the building where his mother is waiting. We exchange our pleasantries and I send him home for the day. Although exhausted, I am fulfilled. My life never really had a direction until I found a job in special education.
I stumbled into this profession, if I am being truly honest. My husband thought working in the school system would be great for our own children and schedule. Eight years later, I could not imagine my path diverging any other way.
I hope I have taught my students, but in reality, they are the ones who have taught me. They have taught me perseverance, and hope. They have skilled me in the ways of an open heart, and forgiving spirit. They have shown me utter acceptance, and pride in the most minute accomplishments.
As I clean the room, and prepare for home, I walk down the hall and smile to myself, “Hyer is made of red brick!”