Growing up in a rural community near Illinois State, Elizabeth Alberts ’13 was familiar with the University and always anticipated she would attend. An aspiring teacher, she knew ISU’s stellar reputation in preparing educators made it the best choice for her, with the fact it was close to home an added bonus.

Her undergraduate experience exceeded her expectations, in part because of financial support through the College of Education. Alberts received scholarships her sophomore, junior and senior years. All of the assistance helped her cover each semester’s tuition and academic expenses.

“I’m just very grateful. Anything is a big help, as college is not cheap. I always had a summer job, but the scholarships really helped ease the financial stress,” Alberts said.

The support allowed her to complete multiple teaching endorsements, and gave her the freedom to become involved in extracurricular activities. She enjoyed working with service organizations and participating in groups tied to her education degree.

“The scholarships helped me finish the academic side but I was able to add a lot more to that,” said Alberts, who begins this fall as a math and science teacher at Chiddix Junior High School in Normal.

“I’m excited and I’m definitely up for the challenge,” Alberts said. She realizes she has reached her dream because others believed in her and supported her passion.

“I think where people put their money shows what they value. Unfortunately, a lot of people take education for granted,” Alberts said. “It’s nice to know people value education and put their time and effort into it. I love that people have paid it forward.”