More than a decade ago, while most of her young peers were make-believing they were pirates or princesses, Lindsey Fuchsberger was already test-driving her future dream job.
The Concordia University Wisconsin freshman says her fourth-grade teacher, Nicole (Steffan) Schmidt, whom she describes as “the most amazing teacher I’ve ever had,” solidified Fuchsberger’s love of teaching. From her fourth-grade graduation on, Fuchsberger’s play time regularly involved scenarios in a classroom where her younger brother would serve as her various pupils.
Now Fuchsberger is making her fantasy a reality, and Concordia is paving the way for her financially. Fuchsberger is one of three students to receive the inaugural Lutheran City Educator Scholarship, awarded to highly qualified applicants who are graduates of the Milwaukee Lutheran High School Urban Education Academy and who designate at the time of application as Lutheran education majors at Concordia University Wisconsin or Ann Arbor.
The Lutheran City Educator Scholarship provides full tuition, minus room and board, for up to three undergraduates each year who meet the qualifications. Open to all Lutheran high school graduates, the scholarship is renewable for four years if the student maintains a 3.0 GPA or higher and remains designated as a Lutheran education major.
In addition to Fuchsberger, Milwaukee Lutheran High School graduates Katherine Scheuer and Ku Mo received the full-ride scholarship. Mo says she has a passion for early childhood education, while Scheuer says she hopes to one day teach in a Lutheran urban high school setting.
“It’s just a huge blessing to receive that kind of financial support,” Scheuer says. “I love the Lutheran system and I’m excited to give back to what I’ve received.”
The goal of the scholarship is to encourage more students to consider a career in Lutheran education, particularly within city contexts. Over the summer, Concordia signed a memorandum of understanding with the Lutheran High School Association of Greater Milwaukee to launch the new program. The agreement states that:
- LHSAGM will develop and implement a high school leadership training program modeled off of Milwaukee Lutheran’s Urban Education Academy that will exist to identify a pool of potential pre-education candidates and prepare them for a career in city education. LHSAGM’s program will specifically strive to develop students of color and encourage them to consider teaching in Milwaukee schools upon their college graduation.
- As part of the Lutheran City Education Scholars’ undergraduate experience, Concordia will provide ongoing leadership development and mentoring for the recipients. This mentoring will include access to and coaching from Concordia leadership in the School of Education and across the broader university; participation in the triennial Future Educators program of the Lutheran Education Association; and student access to LCMS School Ministry leadership programs and events.
- Lutheran City Educator graduates are not required to accept calls in any particular location, but must remain actively employed in Lutheran (all denominations) city schools for at least five years after graduation, or be required to repay a portion of their tuition.
Concordia has a particular mission to educate workers for Lutheran schools throughout the nation and world, says Concordia President Rev. Patrick T. Ferry, PhD. Already the university has demonstrated its investment in Lutheran education through the Luther Promise, which guarantees Lutheran high school graduates between $16,000 and $20,000.
“Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor is dedicated to ensuring that lifelong Lutheran education becomes accessible to even more students,” says Ferry. “As a Lutheran institution of higher learning, Concordia University has a vision to be ‘the Church’s school’ and actively supports the extension of the Kingdom through innovative, excellent educational ministries that make an impact for Christ in the Church and throughout the world.”
Interested in enrolling at Concordia? Learn more at cuw.edu/admissions.
— Kali Thiel is director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 262-243-2149.
If this story has inspired you, why not explore how you can help further Concordia's mission through giving.