Elizabeth Reding Rapp

Scholarship Winner Elizabeth Rapps with TWD Attorneys

Name: Elizabeth Reding Rapp

Currently Enrolled (2018): James River High School

About Winning: 

“Winning this scholarship means so much to me! It means that I can focus on my education and not stress about paying for my first year of college, which is amazing. This will influence my education because I will be committed to learning and want to succeed in all of my classes and extracurriculars. My career aspirations are to become an elementary school teacher with possibly a licensure in teaching English to Spanish speakers. I love working with kids, so I know one hundred percent that I want to become a teacher after college and I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything other than that.”


My passion is teaching. I teach dance classes. I teach reading and writing. I teach three, five, and eight year olds, plus all of the ages in between. My passion is teaching and I want to do it for the rest of my life. I will attend James Madison University and will major in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies with a concentration in Elementary Education and a minor in Spanish, while also being a part of the Honors College. The first experience I had teaching was when I was eight years old and my little brother was learning how to read. I remember an instance where I figured out my brother had memorized his favorite book and did not know how to read. I promised him I would not tell mom if he practiced reading with me a little bit each night. This eventually paid off and now my brother is an avid reader.

In the next five, ten, and twenty years, I have specific goals for my outlook on life. These goals are to ALWAYS be kind, to stand up for myself, to look at both sides of an argument, and to assume positive intent from other people. Having this attitude will keep me from focusing on the little things in life and will direct me towards focusing on the big picture. One of the challenges that I may face is the social aspect of college. I am a very extroverted person and love to be a part of events taking place. However, a challenge that I anticipate is not being able to do everything that I want to be a part of. Standing up for myself will help me with this because I have to remember that I can always say no to events and peer pressure.

I knew for a fact, my junior year of high school, that I wanted to be a teacher. My high school offers a class called Teachers for Tomorrow and this helped me decide my career path. I go to Bettie Weaver Elementary every other day and help in a second grade class. Many of my teachers have asked if taking Teachers for Tomorrow has steered me away from the occupation, but each time I tell them that it makes me more excited to become a teacher.

In the next five years, I see myself engaging in the Harrisonburg community, by going to local elementary schools and by volunteering with kids in the community. At this time I will still be attending James Madison University because I will be on my way to earning my Master’s Degree. My goal, while attending college, is to study abroad in a Spanish speaking country, because I have a great passion for learning Spanish. I am hoping that while I am abroad I will not only become immersed in the culture, but will also have the opportunity to observe what their classrooms are like compared to the United States. Not only will I receive my Master’s Degree in the next five years, but I also hope to come out of college with a licensure in teaching English to native speakers.

By year ten, I hope to be teaching at an elementary school in the Chesterfield County Public School system or a school system close to home. I really do love where I live and my goal is to stay close to home. Not only do I want to be teaching at this time, but my goal is to become a leader in my youth group. I have been positively impacted by multiple leaders in my youth group and one day hope to have the same impact on the students that I lead. I hope, by being a small group leader, that I will be faced with opportunities to help me utilize my long term goals for my attitude by seeing both sides of an argument and always being kind.

By year twenty my goal is to continue teaching and to continue leading in my youth group. I do hope to be married and have a family at this time too. My goal is to live a life full of positivity and encouragement, while also living on the edge at times. My belief is that if I am too comfortable, then I should do something that takes me out of my comfort zone and helps me grow as a person. In years ten through twenty I hope to travel to less developed countries with my church and desire to reach children through missions.

The Tronfeld, West, and Durrett Step by Step Scholarship will help me meet my goals because I am responsible for paying for a third of my education. My parents feel it is important for me to contribute to the cost of college as it will ensure I am engaged and make me appreciate the opportunity to earn a college degree. Furthermore, it teaches me how to budget and develop a better understanding of what things cost before I am on my own and working. I will be working over the summer, as the Intern to the Children’s Minister at my church, and also plan to work on campus, during the school year. My hope is that for my freshman year, I will be able to secure scholarships to assist with my portion of the cost of college. During my sophomore year, I hope to be a Resident Advisor (RA) and the subsidy from this position will assist with covering the cost of college going forward. I hope to receive this scholarship to contribute towards my funds for college, so hopefully for my first year I do not have to take out any student loans.

If I am awarded The Tronfeld, West, and Durrett Step by Step Scholarship I can guarantee that I will put my best foot forward at all times and that it will help me towards achieving my dream of becoming a teacher.