For more than 30 years, the School Nutrition Foundation has been raising funds to provide SNA members with the opportunity to achieve their higher education goals through a wide variety of scholarships. To date, SNF has awarded members over $2 million in scholarship funds. In our SNF Scholarship Series we will be aiming the spotlight at some of our scholarship winners and sharing their stories with you, including excerpts from their application essays and follow-up interviews.
Jeri Paull is the Nutrition Services Manager at McMinnville School District in McMinnville, Oregon. In her application essay for consideration for an SNF scholarship, Paull wrote, “I am so proud of the work we do in our schools teaching nutrition and providing healthy meals. I believe it is crucial to provide healthy nutritious meals to our students. A hungry child cannot learn and healthy eaters make better learners.”
If the idea of going back to school as an adult seems intimidating, Jeri assures us that the feeling is fleeting. “Going to college has not only increased my knowledge, it has also increased my confidence in myself—in all aspects of my life.” Among the first classes Jeri enrolled in were Excel and Typing; not only did they apply directly to her job, they started her on her journey toward a degree. “The typing class I took to increase my speed, the Excel class because I knew there was a lot I wasn’t using—that’s a class I think any manager would find helpful,” said Jeri. “One class led to another, and every class I’ve taken has benefited me in both my work and personal life.”
In addition to her nutrition classes, Paull took other classes that on the surface may not appear to be directly related to school nutrition, but she cites as critical in helping her grow professionally—photography, for example. “I do a lot of photography for our salad bars, as well as for various articles in newspapers, websites, and various other publications, as well as for advertising and marketing our program. It was really helpful to learn how to take better photographs.” Her personal communications class helped Jeri communicate more effectively in her words, as well as tone and body language, while her Psychology in the Workplace classed helped her tailor her managerial approach to the individual.
Earning her degree has created opportunities for Jeri to grow in all areas of her life. “I really believe that the more we know, the better off we are in life—at home, at work, and in general,” said Jeri. “This year I joined the board of the School Nutrition Association as a representative. Part of my goal of being an area rep for SNA is to really let people know not only the benefits of being a member of SNA, and the state conventions and classes available, but also the opportunities to pursue their education.”
You can help SNA members achieve their educational goals by supporting the School Nutrition Foundation; click here to make a donation.