Claire Strong – Portland State University GSE
Claire graduated from the Graduate School of Education at PSU and now teaches social studies. She believes this subject “is a direct way to affect our nation’s youth and plant the seed of civic duty in young students.”
Portland State University GSE, Class of 2019
Degree: Master’s in Education
Education- I specialize in the education of social studies. I believe this is a direct way to affect our nation’s youth and plant the seed of civic duty in young students.
How do you think being a first-generation student affected your college experience?
I had to pave my own path. I had to answer all of my own questions. I had to support myself entirely financially, emotionally, and mentally.
What do/did you love about PSU?
I love the inclusion of all people at Portland State. It is a safe place for almost everyone.
Were there any people along your collegiate journey that made a special impact on you? How?
Yes, a beautiful soul named Anita Bright. She specializes in social justice and has influenced the way I decide to teach social studies from a social justice framework.
What was the most impactful experience during your time in college?
Being a collegiate athlete with working three jobs and attending classes full time. I loved representing my university!
What have you been doing since graduation?
I have been spending time with my wife Liam and my dog Token.
How did you adjust to life post-graduation?
I am taking a much-needed mental health break. The stress of university alone is a lot for almost everyone let alone a survivor of childhood trauma and homelessness.
What does it mean to you to have been chosen as a Renaissance Scholar?
It felt like the first time I was being noticed for my hard work. I never gave up on life or my education, and the amazing donors showed they aren’t giving up on me.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I believe I can change education. And I believe I can change the world. But I need more help to do this. I need more assistance from amazing donors like the Renaissance Foundation.