Mason Stewart ’10 first attended college on a basketball scholarship. It wasn’t enough to keep him motivated, and the experience ended after only two years.
It was a “tough time in my life,” he explained.
Attempting to right the ship and launch a career in sales, Stewart landed at National Louis University looking for a business degree. After completing NLU’s B.S. in Management, he found a job as a recruiter pitching qualified candidates to companies trying to fill engineering vacancies.
But after five years, Stewart’s motivation evaporated. Life got tough again.
“I decided to finally search inward to reflect on what would truly make me happy, which for the first time I realized was not money,” he explained.
Once Stewart accepted that paychecks and scholarships couldn’t fulfill him, he began to consider a long-time dream that he’d swept away as an impractical fantasy. “I’d thought about becoming a teacher on and off since high school but was discouraged by what others said about teacher’s lack of compensation,” he said. “As time passed, my focus became clearer, and what others thought meant less to me.”
Clarity meant heading back to school. When Stewart returned to National Louis for an M.A.T. in Elementary Education, he found himself among a community dedicated to learning. “Every class I attended was with students who were serious about their learning and teachers who were serious about making that learning happen,” he said.
Stewart moved from the classrooms of NLU to a classroom of his own. He taught middle school at Hill Campus of Arts and Sciences in Denver for two years before accepting a contract to teach at the American School of Tegucigalpa, a private K-12 college preparatory school in Honduras.
Life is much better for Stewart now that he has received a Master’s in Teaching from National Louis University.
“Since earning my degree, my career and how I want to live my life has been in my control more than ever,” explained Stewart. “I have been able to travel both across the U.S. and internationally because of teaching — all the while doing my best to positively influence amazing students.”