Teachers are in large demand locally, nationally, and all over the world, and good teachers, like those that University of Findlay and its College of Education pride themselves on training and turning out, are of even greater importance. In some cases, the reality of becoming a teacher might be seemingly out of reach for a hopeful future student due to financial obstacles. However, for burgeoning educator Brianna Mobley, and UF students like her, the generosity of those who contribute to scholarship at UF makes teaching dreams take real shape.
Mobley’s path toward UF has not been a traditional one. She knew, she said, that she wanted to be a teacher before graduating from high school, but, as she knew she would be paying for college out of her own pocket, she figured that college wouldn’t be in the cards for her. As is the norm for people who know their calling, but are not sure how to get there, Mobley spent time trying to find an alternative only to come up short. “I spent four years [after high school] trying so many different jobs,” she said. “I worked in factories, stores, facilities with special needs adults, restaurants, just about anything you could think of, and I still wasn’t happy.”
It took a bit of inspiration in the form of an addition to her family for her to make a commitment to finding a way to teaching as a career. She and her husband had a son, and she was determined to be an example for him; an example showing that with a little resolution and a helping hand, aspirations can be made possible. She enrolled in a community college before looking into a state university, but the financial burden was to be heavier than she thought. The drive to make it happen, however, powered her to research other educational opportunities.
Enter University of Findlay.
Mobley’s research led her to the knowledge that scholarship opportunities are great at UF, so she made an appointment with Admissions in the summer of 2019. “I had an appointment with a UF counselor, and was told all about UF’s faculty, the education program, and all of the help that I could get financially,” Mobley said. “I was able to meet some of the people I would be working with at the University, and immediately fell in love with them and the campus.” She filled out an application and was accepted. But with a growing family, and the recent purchase of a house (“Renting a house is so incredibly expensive, it made more sense to buy,” Mobley said), whether or not she would be able to pay for a UF education was still something Mobley wasn’t sure of. But, because of scholarships available to her, she found that the financial hurdle would be surmountable. “If I wasn’t receiving them, I would not be going to school; there is no way at all,” Mobley added. “My scholarships also help me to stay motivated in keeping my grades up; if I know I’m receiving a scholarship because of it, I am going to do everything I can to keep them up.”
A “typical day” for Mobley, in addition to classes and the care of her two-year-old son, also sometimes includes a part-time job at a cleaning company in Findlay. Most often, she said, the day starts with going to class and then, depending on the day, spending time in a classroom in a local school. After class, it’s homework for most of the day or heading to her job. In one upcoming week, she said, she will grade essays for Findlay City School’s Tell-A-Tale essay writing contest and do a lesson on photosynthesis at the Children’s Museum. On a previous day, she worked from 8 a.m. to noon, then came home and did homework until 3:30 before attending a meeting to talk about her group presentation for UF’s Symposium for Scholarship and Creativity, and then heading back for an evening class. It’s a busy lifestyle, but that’s the way Mobley said it needs to be for her to achieve her goals “My days are pretty full, but I want to be as prepared as possible when I get in the teaching field so I try to do all of the extra things that my professors recommend,” she shared.
Mobley, who plans to start her sophomore block next year, said that she is grateful for donors who “take part in shaping the future” by helping students to realize their educational dreams through scholarship and other gifts, and sees herself turning her good fortune and opportunity into being the best teacher she can be. “I chose teaching because I want to be a pillar for these students,” she explained. “I want to inspire my students to be anything they want to be; if they want to do something, all they have to do is try. I want to help form the next generation, too.”
To continue to shape the future of Brianna Mobley and Oilers like her, participate in fun social media challenges throughout the 24-hours and help determine how challenge funds are distributed across campus for UF’s Day of Giving on March 19.