Graduate Spotlight: Amanda Yoshida | Huntington Beach, CA

Coming from a dedicated family of Trojan alumni, I was destined to become a Trojan. Beginning my search for a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential/Master’s in Teaching combination program, I knew that finding a program that fit my time constraints would be difficult. I was coaching high school basketball, working two other jobs and going to school. When I first learned about USC’s online program, I was overjoyed. I needed to find a program that offered classes at abnormal hours due to my busy schedule, and MAT@USC did just that. Fortunately, I was accepted and began in September of 2010.

MAT@USC was truly one of the best experiences of my life. After completing this program, I knew that I was more adequately prepared for the teaching profession than I ever believed I could be. I gained valuable experience from guided practice and observations. I attained applicable information and knowledge from a truly dedicated and caring group of professors. I am a better student because of this program. But most importantly: I am a more effective teacher because of this program.

Like many other teachers, I chose teaching because of the impact that one teacher had on my life. It was an incredibly loving and devoted teacher who changed my life forever. His dedication and love showed me that one moment could drastically change a child’s life. I wanted to be that teacher someday. I wanted to dedicate my life to bettering the lives of future generations.

In December of 2011, I finished the MAT@USC and moved to Central Valley. I began working as a substitute teacher in multiple school districts, and I also started teaching third grade in an after-school program in Stockton, California. Despite the struggling economy, I began applying for teaching positions. I knew that USC had prepared me to be the most effective teacher that I could be. In April of 2012, I was offered a full-time position at Aspire APEX Academy in Stockton, California. I am blessed with such an incredible opportunity to do what I have always wanted to do. I know that I will be able to use all that I learned from the MAT@USC and apply it to my classroom as a first year teacher.

As of last week, I can officially say that I am a graduate from USC. I can also now say that I am a member of the national honors society, Phi Kappa Phi. This past week was one of experiences and ceremonies that I will not ever forget. I am now a USC graduate. I am now a teacher. I have dedicated my life to making a difference and will strive everyday in pursuit of that.

Fight On!

Amanda Yoshida
September 2010 Cohort