Name: Destinee Taft
College: College of Education and Human Development
Major(s): Elementary Education
Grad Year: Spring 2017
Hometown: Colonial Heights, Va.
1. Why did you decide to attend Radford University?
I decided to attend Radford because of the amazing teaching program here and their high employment rate for Elementary Education. I have always wanted to be a teacher, so I chose the university where I was going to learn to be the best teacher I could be. In high school, I visited Radford University several times before I made my decision. The warm and welcoming people I met at the open houses and during Highlander Days really affirmed my decision to attend Radford University.
2. How have you financed your education? Have you encountered any challenges along the way?
I have received several loans and grants from the government, and my parents and I have paid portions of my tuition out of pocket. I have also been fortunate enough to receive various scholarships that really helped lessen the burden and stress that comes with trying to pay for tuition, books and living expenses. It has been challenging at times to find the money to pay for all of these things, so I have also had a work study position on campus to help pay for tuition and living expenses.
3. What do you appreciate most about your Radford University education?
The fact that I know when I graduate, I will have a job. I know that my professors really care about our success and, although the courses have been rigorous, I will enter into the “real world” as prepared and knowledgeable as possible. Throughout this journey, I have been surrounded by professors and fellow students who have the same hopes and dreams as I do and who really encourage me to do my best. It really makes Radford feel like home.
4. What are your career ambitions?
I have never wanted to do anything except be a teacher. I knew at a very young age, and even more now, that I want to make a difference in the world. I believe being a phenomenally influential and supportive teacher is a perfect way to do that. I have recently decided to apply for Radford University’s master’s degree program in special education because I have a strong passion for giving each student the best education possible, especially the ones who need a little extra support. I couldn’t think of any better place to achieve that than here at Radford University.
5. Why do you think donor support is important?
With donor support, I have been able to throw myself into my teaching passion and into my school work without worrying as much about how I’m going to buy the materials I need to be successful, or if I’m going to have a place to live. Donors truly give students the ultimate college experience without the lurking anxiety and stress of large loan payments or coming up with funds they are not capable of having at the time.
6. Do you have a message for donors and prospective donors?
I would like to say thank you, a hundred times over, to those who have donated and helped not only me, but SO many students achieve their higher education dreams here at Radford University. To those who are considering a donation, I really hope you understand just how important your contributions are to students who would be able to thrive and succeed if they were not held back by so many financial burdens. It is because of donor support that we, as students, are able to go above and beyond to continue to represent our school in the best light possible.