While Jacqueline Schneegold worked toward her master’s degree in early childhood education at Buffalo State, she was juggling many balls.
Married and a homeowner, she also worked full time as a paralegal, was collaborating with the Graduate School to create the campus’s Graduate Student Association (GSA), and in May 2013 she gave birth to her first child. Money was tight, but Schneegold said she was determined to complete her degree and pursue a teaching career.
She found financial help through the Ron Brown ITEC Scholarship. Established in 2004 as the ITEC Scholarship by employees in the Information Technology Exchange Center and later renamed in honor of the center’s retiring chief information officer, the scholarship is available to students in any degree program who demonstrate excellence in technology and who are supporting their college education on their own. Since its inception, a total of $35,400 has been awarded to 40 students representing a wide range of majors.
Schneegold, now 29, considered a career in law and even attended law school for one year before realizing that working with children was her true calling.
“What attracted me to Buffalo State was its stellar reputation for preparing teachers for the classroom and its option to earn a master’s degree and teaching certificate at the same time,” she said. “That was huge for me.”
In the scholarship application essay, Schneegold wrote how important technology has become to the teaching world and how she used technology extensively while launching the GSA and serving as its first president. The committee, impressed with Schneegold’s essay and personal interview, awarded her a $1,500 scholarship in the beginning of 2013.
“I was really excited. I put the scholarship immediately toward my tuition,” said Schneegold, who graduated with her master’s in December 2013. “It’s financially difficult to attend school and move forward with an adult life.”
Now Schneegold is searching for a full-time teaching position and said she feels very fortunate with her experience at Buffalo State.
“The Ron Brown ITEC Scholarship was a priceless tool that allowed me to earn my master’s degree while enjoying my family and working full time,” she said.
To learn how you can contribute to the 2014 Faculty and Staff Appeal, contact Claire Collier at (716) 878-5206. To see a full list of funds, go to http://giving.buffalostate.edu/facultystaffappeal.