2017 OSPA Scholarship Award Winner
Natasha is currently a student at Lewis & Clark’s Graduate School of Education and Counseling, pursuing a degree in Elementary Education. Lewis and Clark’s commitment to social justice spoke to Natasha’s motivations to becoming an educator. Natasha hopes to create a classroom in which she empowers her students to explore themselves wholly and pursue their passions fully. She will be student teaching in David Douglas School District and will be graduating in the summer of 2018.
While attending Portland State University online, Natasha worked as a 4th Grade Teaching Assistant at Catlin Gabel School. Through her experience in classes, and her work with 4th graders, Natasha was inspired to volunteer. She created an art program for youth currently in detention at Donal E. Long Juvenile Detention Center. Through her program, Natasha works with youth to explore all forms of art. One of her favorite memories from the program is when the youth collaborated with one another to create poetry. Natasha is continuing the program while attending Lewis and Clark, and hopes to expand and create a non-profit in the near future.
"Thank you for the recognition and funds towards my education. Through pursuing my higher education I have often taken the road less traveled. I began at Community College, and completed my undergrad online at various schools, while working full time. I found a lot of value in gaining experience while completing my education. Teaching has always been in the forefront of my mind. My way of judging my success has always been the relationships in which I develop from my endeavors. I am motivated by the “light bulb moment" that students have when they are exploring and learning. I will take these values into the classroom as I learn along side my students."
– From Natasha