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Quanah ISD Elementary Paraprofessional Receives $5000 Texas Trailblazer Scholarship

News Brief - 8/10/17

QUANAH — WGU Texas, a nonprofit online university, has awarded a $5,000 Texas Trailblazer Scholarship to Quanah ISD paraprofessional Sasha Deel, who specializes in early intervention education, a program designed to bolster struggling students.

Deel, a paraprofessional who worked with elementary and high school students for 14 years, always wanted to earn her teaching degree, but time and financial resources were scarce. Her hopes for attending college were further dampened by a counselor who told her she was not college material.

“Sadly, that discouraging and wrong label stuck with me for many years and kept me from pursuing my dream,” said Deel.

After receiving lots of encouragement from her husband and work colleagues and qualifying for student loans, Deel enrolled in an area college. After a semester of evening classes and working full time, she learned classes for her education degree for the following semester were only offered during the day, which conflicted with her teaching job. That’s when she learned about WGU Texas, which is an accredited, online and self-paced university and decided to apply for the Texas Trailblazer Scholarship.

“I am honored that WGU Texas considers me a ‘Texas Trailblazer.’ I believe that by investing in my future they are also investing in the future of hundreds of Texas school children. This award gives me the opportunity to show my students who they are, what they can do, and teach them to believe in themselves and their futures” Deel added.

“We know that affordability and flexibility are important factors in many students’ ability to complete their undergraduate and graduate degrees,” said WGU Texas PR Manager Kathy Koza. “It is gratifying to see our teachers set an example for their students and never stop learning.”

WGU Texas’ competency-based learning model is ideal for adult learners—because it allows students to study and learn on their own schedule and at their own pace. Students can apply what they’ve learned at work and in previous courses to move quickly through what they already know, while taking the time they need to focus on what they still need to learn. Students who devote additional time to their studies can often accelerate their programs, saving both time and money. WGU Texas faculty members work one-on-one with students as mentors, offering guidance, support, and individualized instruction.

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