Insight: Autumn 2007

Autumn 2007

Changing Futures: An Education Success Story

Sarah Bush (IAS '03, T-Cert '06)

By Elizabeth Fischtziur

The University of Washington Bothell is a center of academic excellence, filled with award-winning faculty, and extraordinary student support services that rival any other. It is also a place that is fulfilling lifelong dreams.


Sarah Bush (IAS '03, T-Cert '06) always wanted to be a teacher; she just wasn't sure how. After graduating from Mountlake Terrace High School and attending Edmonds Community College, she knew she wanted something more. Juggling work and being a single mom to a young daughter, she decided to add full-time college student status as well when she joined UW Bothell in 2000.

Once there she was amazed by all that was offered. Says Sarah, "I liked the fact that there were small class sizes and that you could really have a personal relationship with the professors. They knew you by name and went out of their way to help." She also found the program offerings exceptional. Her only complaint-the fact that there were too many good ones to choose from and not enough time in her busy schedule!

The variety of courses and countless options inspired Sarah to do more, so she became actively involved in student leadership. Sarah became a student government representative and was President of the student group Human Rights Action Group, where she helped lead projects and spread knowledge about issues that impacted many less fortunate. In finding ways to get involved, she ended up finding ways to give back.

It only happened because of UW Bothell. It was the right place, the right time, and the right people. I am really, really grateful for everything. Sarah Bush IAS '03, T-Cert. '06

This desire to serve others was further fulfilled when Sarah was pre-selected for employment, prior to graduation, in the Bellevue Schools District. UW Bothell "opened up doors because the program is so well-respected," says Sarah. Now a kindergarten teacher at Stevenson Elementary, Sarah has her dream job and is in a position to inspire many. She could not be any more thrilled about the skills she obtained as a student: "What I learned has all come to fruition in my career. The knowledge I obtained was practical, useful, and highly relevant."

Ever the optimist, Sarah sees no slowing down in the future, "I would like to get my Masters degree in education and also my professional certification. I know I will go back to UW Bothell, hands down, no question!"

Fulfilling this dream was not easy. Sarah's perseverance and determination were key, but she is quick to point out the assistance of others. A recipient of student loans and special needs grants, she knows that "having financial assistance meant that I could go to college, I could not have done it otherwise."

Sarah shares, "I never saw myself going to a four year school. Growing up, there were just a lot of roadblocks, including academic ones. I never thought that I was 'good enough' to go to college. The fact that I was able to go, even with a child and even with having to work, and to succeed and end up with my goals realized is really phenomenal. It only happened because of UW Bothell. It was the right place, the right time, and the right people. I am really, really grateful for everything. I would never have been able to have the experiences I had if I had gone someplace else. I am just so very grateful. I now know that I can achieve my goals if I put my 'eyes to the prize'. Anything is possible."

Success stories like Sarah's are possible and we want to create more, but we cannot do it alone. Consider a contribution to the Campaign UW: Creating Futures and help us fulfill more dreams.