Freshmen and future teachers Lilah Castle, Madison Corbin and Emma Grotke have been selected for the Bebe Warren Scholars Program, a signature scholarship for high-achieving elementary education majors.
Castle, a homeschool student from Lake Worth, Florida, entered the University with a 4.24 GPA. Grotke, a homeschool student from Longwood, Florida, came with a 4.37 GPA. Corbin, of Waynesboro, Virginia, is a graduate of Stuarts Draft High School with a 3.63 GPA. Each will receive a $5,000 scholarship annually and $7,500 during her senior year.
Retired educator Bebe Warren, wife of University founding board chairman Dr. Donald E. Warren, influenced dozens of teachers she encouraged through her named scholarship, which her husband established in 2001 in partnership with the Theodore R. and Vivian M. Johnson Foundation. Each year, Warren visited with early elementary education majors who received a financial award during their semester of student teaching.
Upon her death, a gift from the Warren estate and additional family and friends boosted the balance of the Bebe Warren Scholarship Fund. The endowment allows PBA to support more aspiring elementary school teachers.
This year’s recipients have experience in the classroom. Castle volunteered as a teacher’s helper in a kindergarten classroom — an experience that she credits with giving her a passion for teaching. She especially enjoyed reading with the children.
“I love when kids get that light that goes off when they understand words. It opens up the world to them,” Castle said. “I love reading so much. Inspiring kids to have that joy is really exciting to me.”
Corbin discovered a passion for working with children as part of a work-study program during her senior year of high school. She especially enjoyed working with a 2-year-old girl with Down syndrome every day at her mom’s childcare center. Corbin’s mom is her role model for teaching because of her love for children and her approach.
“She gets on their level and works really well with them,” Corbin said.
Faith in Christ is an important component of her mom’s center, with her teaching the children prayers at snack and lunch time.
“For some of the families, it’s their first time hearing about Jesus,” Corbin said.
Corbin’s brother Ben is a history major set to graduate in December. Her brother Erikson studied marketing at PBA.
Grotke began her home school studies in sixth grade. She credits Sandra Mulcahy, her kindergarten teacher at Liberty Magnet School in Vero Beach, with inspiring her to be a teacher. Later, as a volunteer in Mulcahy’s classroom, Grotke was impressed with her calm demeanor and control over the classroom.
“I’ve wanted to be a teacher since first grade,” Grotke said. “I could never think of anything I wanted to do more.”
Grotke is the sister of Josh Grotke ’17/M.Div. ’19 and sister-in-law of the former Emma Forker ’16. She hopes to teach at a private, Christian school upon graduation.
Corbin plans to work in public schools, although she also has dreams of opening a day care.
In the future, Castle wants to apply what she learned from being a homeschooled student to her teaching. Specifically, she wants to focus on the subjects about which her students are most passionate.
“That one-on-one experience was so awesome for me,” Castle said. “I want to try to bring that to the classroom as much as I can.”
The scholarship afforded Castle the opportunity to live on campus and participate in the PBA community, a possibility that had never before entered her mind, she said.
Said Grotke, “It will help me to graduate debt-free and take some stress off.”
Photo 1: Bebe Warren
Photo 2: Lilah Castle
Photo 3: Madison Corbin
Photo 4: Emma Grotke