Despite tragically losing her mother during her senior year of high school, Tressa Weinbrenner never even considered not attending college.
"The only thing I could really do was keep going on with my life," said Weinbrenner, who was awarded an SFM Foundation scholarship.
Her strong commitment to education became even more apparent as she progressed in school.
Weinbrenner started out at Winona State University as a business management and accounting major with plans to open a coffee shop. After a few business classes she realized that wasn't the right path for her, and instead discovered her passion for art education, so she decided to major in elementary education.
Her experience student teaching in Arcadia, Wisconsin, helped confirm for her that she'd made the right choice. Even dealing with students who had behavior problems didn't faze her.
"The kids are great. One minute you're pulling your hair out and the next minute they're hugging you," she said. "It's nice to know that you can be a positive aspect of their lives."
Weinbrenner will soon have the opportunity to be a positive influence in many more children's lives. She graduated in May, and accepted a full-time kindergarten teaching position starting this fall.
Would you like to help other students like Tressa move ahead with their lives despite difficult circumstances? Please consider a donation to the SFM Foundation. You can make a big difference for a student in need, and for those they will go on to serve.
Published August 17, 2016.