1/1/2009 Oregon Opportunity Grant Profile: Teresa Blanshine
As a young girl growing up in a small Mexican village, Teresa Blanshine ‘10 was discouraged from pursuing an education.
“My father would tell me, ‘School is not for women,’ each time I asked for permission to go to school,” said Blanshine, one of 12 children.
At age 21, she moved to the United States, and though she had no money or knowledge of the English language, began pursuing her dream of education. She earned a GED and eventually started working with second language students in an elementary school.
“I discovered the need for bilingual people not only in educational settings, but also in the health field,” said Blanshine. With an associate’s degree in hand, she began looking into the nursing profession and colleges that would fit her needs, choosing Linfield College.
“Linfield has a commitment to serve all people and to educate culturally-competent health professionals,” she said. “I asked many students about their satisfaction of the campus, as well as the faculty, and their response was overwhelmingly positive.”
Without the Oregon Opportunity Grant and other scholarships, Blanshine said it would be nearly impossible for her to continue her education. A single parent, she left a full-time job to pursue her education and the financial help is essential to achieving her educational goals.
The Linfield faculty and staff are an important component of Blanshine’s education. One of her favorite professors, Diane Welch, is an associate professor of nursing. Blanshine said Welch is encouraging, supportive and sees potential in students.
In addition to going to school and raising two children, Blanshine volunteers for Wallace Medical Concern, a public health clinic in Gresham, and is a member of the Ayundando Podemos mentor program at Linfield.
“Never in a million years would I have imagined that a child with illiterate parents from a small village in the mountains of Mexico could one day be studying at a private college,” she said. “I am living in a completely different world from what I have ever known.”