By Ashley Arnold, University Relations Intern
McKinley Maples, who is currently working on his M.Ed. in Secondary Education at UTC, credits his inspiration and motivation for success to a teacher he had in middle school.
“I had an eighth grade science teacher that made such an impact on my life that I was like, I want to give back to the kids that really need it. So I got into middle grades education and I absolutely love it,” Maples said.
Maple was trying to come up with the money to pay for college and had no idea how he was going to do it until the Each One Reach One scholarship was mentioned to him.
“Without this scholarship, I wouldn’t have finished college. I honestly didn’t know how I was going to pay for it. When Sandy Cole and Joanne Cook sat me down and told me that it was a full tuition scholarship, they’ll tell you, I broke down and cried. It meant everything to me,” Maples said.
The Each One Reach One scholarship began as an initiative that was called, “Diversity in Teaching” and was originally created to help correct the problem of the underrepresentation of African Americans and Hispanic public school teachers in Tennessee. Since then, the grant has changed to focus on finding up and coming educators who have a desire and commitment to diversity in teaching.
Maples is the first person in his family to graduate college, and he feels that he has set the bar for others to follow.
Watch the full interview below.