Stephanie Scierka always dreamed of being a teacher, but the timing never seemed right. About 4 years ago, Reading Corps and Math Corps helped get her there.
At the time, Stephanie and her husband were living in a small town in Pennsylvania where she worked as a loan officer. The thought of teaching was always in the back of her mind. “I wasn’t loving my job,” Stephanie recalls. “I knew I was meant to teach because even at the bank, I found that I was the happiest training and teaching new employees.”
When her family relocated to Minnesota, a career change finally seemed possible thanks to Minnesota Math Corps. Stephanie was drawn to Math Corps for many reasons, but the education award tutors receive made earning a new credential seem financially possible. “I was a mom in my 30s,” she explains. “The education award gave me a second chance that people like me don’t usually get.”
As a tutor, Stephanie loved working with students. “It was amazing to be a part of their ‘aha moments’,” she shares. “When they were struggling and felt like they couldn’t learn a concept, I got to be there for them.” She also enjoyed working alongside the teachers. “The school really embraced their tutors,” she said. “I felt valued and staff helped me build connections in both the district and community.
After serving a year with Math Corps, Stephanie used her education award to enroll in a program for early childhood education. To complement her studies, she joined Minnesota Reading Corps where she continued to serve as a PreK tutor. Stephanie graduated in 2015 and has been a kindergarten teacher in Roseville Area Schools ever since!
Stephanie attributes Reading Corps and Math Corps for giving her the means to become a teacher and she encourages others to consider serving too. “Whether you are a grandparent coming in and getting that education award for a grandchild; someone like me who is in the middle of their life and wants a change; or a young person who wants to see if education is for them, take a chance,” Stephanie suggests. “Become a tutor.”