When Kate Oeser ’11, M.S. ’13 started at Illinois State as a freshman, she didn’t know what she wanted to major in. Luckily, one of Kate’s new friends convinced her to give speech language pathology a try.

She was immediately hooked.

After her first introduction course, Kate knew speech language pathology was a perfect fit for her. It allowed her to mix her passion for language and love for teaching children.

Kate recently completed her Master of Science in speech language pathology and a Bachelor of Science at Illinois State, where she was the recipient of Robinson/Eckelmann Scholarship in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology. Kate is now a speech language pathologist in the northern suburbs of Chicago.

Here’s why Your Gift Matters, in her own words:

What impact has the scholarship had on your life?

 I was extremely fortunate to receive scholarships during my time at ISU. Not only was I very honored to be the recipient of these awards, but it was also a relief. Receiving monetary support was going to assist me in paying for my education, and ultimately assist in me in achieving my future goals.

What do you hope to do as a graduate?

Since finishing my master’s degree, I have acquired a full-time position as a speech language pathologist in a special education school. I work with students ages 3-22 with speech, language, and feeding challenges.

How prepared do you feel going into the working world?

When it comes to working in the “real world,” you never really know what to expect until you get there. You’re never going to know everything or be prepared for everything, but this is a good thing because you’ll never stop learning. Three months into my career, I feel as though ISU prepared me as best as possible for the amazing career that I chose. I am thankful every day for the education I received that allowed me to be where I am today.

What would you say to those whose contributions funded your scholarship?

Although you may never get to see where the money goes, or how it is put to use, I hope you know how instrumental you have been in molding my professional future. Your gift goes beyond the monetary value. It gave me ability to reach my goals, my hopes, and my dreams, without hesitation. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Read more stories about the impact of Annual Giving on our students.