Scholarship Series

Rachel's Story

Rachel Johnson remembers visiting the University of Montevallo in kindergarten to spend time with her older sister. When deciding where she wanted to go to college and what path she wanted to pursue, the Wilsonville native was drawn in by the familiarity of UM, the school’s distinguished speech-language pathology program and the affordable tuition.

Rachel Johnson“When my sister came here, she received many scholarships that helped her pay for tuition and housing.” Johnson said. “I knew that Montevallo would be an affordable option for me as long as I am competitive to earn scholarships.”

Johnson is a junior majoring in speech-language pathology and minoring in human development and family studies. After graduating, she plans to attend graduate school and hopes to one day work with children in a Title I elementary school like the one she attended.

“As a speech pathologist, you can treat someone from the moment they’re born through their entire lifespan,” Johnson said. “At any point in time, there’s a possibility that you could need speech therapy. It makes me happy to imagine myself working with children in that kind of setting and supporting them to have the skills they need to communicate and succeed.”

Johnson is a recipient of the Montevallo Ambassador Program Scholarship (M.A.P.S), the Sabia Family Legacy Endowed Scholarship for Honors Students and the Stacy Lin Rowe Memorial Scholarship, which awards students who have an outstanding commitment to the speech-language pathology profession.

Scholarships helped Johnson even before beginning her college journey. In high school, she received a Gifted Education Program scholarship that allowed her to take one free dual enrollment course at UM over the summer — she took History 101 with Dr. Wilson Fallin Jr.

As a first-generation college student raised by a single father, Johnson feels supported at UM despite not having all the resources that make attending college easier. On campus, she is a resident assistant in Ramsay Hall, a student employee in the Calendar Office, a Montevallo Master, a member of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association and a member of TRIO.

“I belong at Montevallo because I was able to come here with the help of scholarship assistance and opportunities and programs like TRIO that are geared towards first-generation college students,” Johnson said. “I feel really supported here.”

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