Melanie Zaferos- Pursuing a Dream to Teach

Melanie ZaferosMelanie Zaferos from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, follows her mother, father and sister to the UW-Madison. She’s pursuing her lifelong dream to become an elementary school teacher and hopes to one day also teach abroad. The Ab and Nancy Nichols Great People Scholarship and Alta T. & Daniel B. Straley Scholarship allow her to continue her higher education.

What has been your greatest learning experience at the UW-Madison?

My Geology 107 (Life of the Past) class … taught me to be open to new subjects that I was not familiar with, how to really study and how to be excited about new information. The main reason I enjoyed the course so much was because my professor was so passionate about it. This is something that I plan on carrying with me into my teaching because I want to be passionate about learning, so I can help my students be the same way.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?

My mother is my inspiration. She raised my sister and me by herself on a journalist salary. Her strength is very inspiring to me and she always motivates my sister and me to work for everything we want. She graduated college with a degree in music education but decided after graduation that she wanted to pursue journalism, so she worked her way up through many jobs to finally begin the career she wanted. She is caring and strong, and I sincerely hope that I can be as passionate about my career and family as she is about hers.

What do these scholarships mean to you?

There are no words that can describe how much this scholarship means to me. It not only means a lot to me, but to my mother and family as well. This has helped me immensely by giving me the funding to help me continue my higher education. Thank you!