The Lesson of a Lifetime

Barbara Meyers"With hard work, you can do anything," is the advice Barbara Meyers' niece and nephew recall as their late aunt's philosophy for living life.

Born in 1931 to Charles and Helen Rappe in Hobart, Indiana, Barbara Meyers was the first in her family to attend and graduate college. She came from a loving, working class family, and was taught from a young age the value of a dollar, and the importance of hard work. She was a diligent student and attended Indiana University where she studied Elementary Education. Shortly after graduation, Barbara followed her dreams to California where she taught first and second grade in the San Diego school system for over fifty years. One of Barbara's greatest career achievements was ensuring every student that left her classroom was a cognitive reader and that they could read at grade level. A lesson her students and their future teachers were all very thankful for.

A lifelong learner, Barbara traveled the world learning about other countries and cultures. However, it was San Diego that always felt like home. After a lifetime of living well beneath her means, and some savvy investing, Barbara had built herself a nice estate which she hoped to use to help support others.

She established a scholarship named in her parents' memory at SDSU to help support students studying Elementary Education. Barbara named the scholarship after her parents to honor the love and support they provided throughout their lives. Helen and Charles were Barbara's first teachers, instilling a strong work ethic through their example of perseverance and dedication.

In true Barbara fashion, the Helen and Charles Rappe Teaching Excellence Endowed Scholarship has a merit component to its eligibility criteria. Students must be enrolled full-time and be in good academic standing, and meet a minimum GPA requirement to be considered for the scholarship. There is also a financial need element to the scholarship. It was important to Barbara that it be awarded to those who need financial assistance and demonstrate strong academic performance. Recipients are awarded 50% of the cost of their teaching credential program and annual tuition fees. In creating the scholarship, Barbara sought to reward those who are committed to educating others. Teaching was not only Barbara's profession, it was her passion. Her lesson will continue long into the future as generations of recipients of the Helen and Charles Rappe Teaching Excellence Endowed Scholarship follow Barbara's philosophy of lifelong teaching and lifelong learning through hard work.