Change people's lives at home and around the world

Make a Gift

Scholarship Allows Mother of Teens to Return and Finish Degree

September 2013

Stephanie Wade Johnson came to Brigham Young University as a freshman, but when wedding bells rang she put her schooling on hold. Fast forward more than a decade—Johnson was working as an aide to a special education teacher.

She loved the work. She connected with her students, and they responded. For Johnson her work seemed more like play. But it was apparent that her ability to advance in this field was hampered by her lack of a college degree.

stephanie-johnson-1 Stephanie Wade Johnson has a zest for life. “My appetite for learning is insatiable,” she says. “Every day I enter campus hungry to learn.”

So she and her husband together sensed it was time to complete her degree. But as their now-teenage children had grown so had demands on family finances. “Life with young adults and teenagers is expensive,” says Johnson. We’d juggled our expenses to help our children through high school and college, and we weren’t sure how we would be able to afford my education.”

Thanks to a donor-funded scholarship available for nontraditional students, Johnson found the answer to her tuition question. “Right now the campus is my world—to turn a phrase—and it is a world filled with wonder, discovery, learning, spirit, love, and joy. I am so grateful for those who allowed me to pursue my talents. With my degree I can make a significant difference.”

Majoring in secondary education, Johnson says her second college experience has helped her feel a greater kinship with the special education students she’s studying to help. “Special education students, especially in secondary education, feel discouraged about learning. They have lost their curiosity. Helping them find it again is my goal. Learning is a great adventure I want to experience with my students.”

Make a Gift