The reason I support future teachers now
Wendy Peia Oakes: The quality of education that children with special educational needs receive tomorrow depends on the nurturing and learning experiences their prospective teachers receive today.
Nearly 30 years ago, I became a middle school special education teacher in Sarasota, Florida, with a mission to improve educational access and outcomes for students with emotional and behavioral disorders. I eventually left the K–12 classroom to become an instructor and research associate at the Peabody College of Education at Vanderbilt and, later, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.
I am fully invested in working to support the Arizona State University students in my classes, as I was in 13 years as a special education teacher. I know the quality of education that children with special educational needs receive tomorrow depends on the nurturing and learning experiences their prospective teachers receive today.
Why I Give
My husband, Dan, and I support scholarships for MLFTC students. This year, we created an endowment to support the Oakes Peia Scholarship for students entering the special education field.
Every day, special educators have an opportunity to positively impact the life of a child and their family. Every day is challenging and rewarding. Special education teachers are a talented group of professionals committed to creating positive learning experiences for each child to grow and develop.
What I Care About
Helping others has always been a strong value in our family and we are extremely fortunate to be able to do so.
- Scholarship support for MLFTC students.
- The Oakes Peia Scholarship for students entering the special education field.
- The Dean McGrath Scholarship Fund for emergency assistance to MLFTC students facing financial hardship.
‘Why I Give’: Stories from ASU faculty and staff
- Ji Mi Choi: Why I choose to give at Arizona State University
- Keith Miller: They don’t have perfect SAT scores, but they deserve an opportunity
- Neal Lester: Here’s what I’ve learned about caring
- Anna Wales: The first gift I ever gave was $5. And it lit a fire in my heart
- Flavio F. Marsiglia: ‘How can I ask others to help if I am not helping first?’
- Michelle Johnson: ‘I was one of those children who was from an underserved community’
- Colleen Jennings-Roggensack: The gift no one can take away