James and Wendy Ruchti know first-hand the impact a college education can make on one’s life.
Both grew up in homes where they struggled to make ends meet, and higher education made all the difference. To give back to Idaho State University and the community that has made a difference in their lives, the Ruchtis established the $ 33,000 Idaho Educator scholarship to support students who are returning to school to pursue their dreams of becoming teachers.
“I can not think of any better place to invest in than Idaho’s teachers and Idaho’s kids,” Wendy said. “We see ourselves in Idahoans, who are hard-working, independent people. This is our home and people who are like us. We feel really lucky and blessed to be able to do this and give back to the community. ”
A third-generation educator herself, Wendy started her career as a middle school math and science teacher. After 15 years, Wendy was offered a position at ISU’s College of Education where she is a professor for the Master of Arts in Teaching program.
Born and raised in Pocatello, James’ ties to Idaho State University began when he was young.
“My parents were struggling in the ’80s until my dad was offered a job at Idaho State University,” he said. “This university was a game changer for my parents and siblings.”
Today, James is a member of the Idaho House of Representatives from the 29th district and a lawyer. His decision to establish this scholarship stems from his natural commitment to helping people.
“Our goal was to invest in other people and provide them with a little help,” he said. “That investment will then turn into something good and make a difference in their lives.”
The Idaho Educator Scholarship helps students in the College of Education’s Master of Arts in Teaching or Deaf Education program who are coming back to school to become teachers. The Master of Arts in Teaching program was originally designed to support the growing need for qualified teachers for Idaho schools, and it has grown to support the need for certified teachers all over the world. Through the program, candidates can receive both a master’s degree and Idaho teacher certification in as little as four semesters.
The Ruchtis also proudly support Bengal Giving Day happening on April 12 and 13. During Bengal Giving Day, the Ruchtis will be matching up to $ 5,000 in donations to the College of Education.
To learn more and make a donation, please visit bengalgivingday.isu.edu.