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View From The Hill: WKU Scholarship program, Gamechangers, creates a diverse teacher workforce

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 5:44 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - A WKU scholarship program called “Gamechangers” will help more black and underrepresented individuals earn their teaching credentials.

This collaboration between WKU, Bowling Green Independent, and Warren County schools is proving to be a real ‘game changer’ for education.

“Driving this school bus I didn’t realize how much I loved kids.”

Single mom Karma Berkley has been driving a Bowling Green city school bus for the past five years.

“I remember some of the bus drivers that cared about me. I want to be that for these students as well,” she said.

A 2013 graduate of WKU, Berkley went on to get her Masters in Exercise Science in 2019.

“That just came out of just praying for something different and just wanting to do more than just be a bus driver.”

Earlier this year a fellow bus driver told her about an opportunity for city and county school employees called Gamechangers.

“The Gamechanger partnership is really organic to 2020 and the impacts of George Floyd and what has happened as a national movement as a function of that.”

“There’s not a lot of African American teachers and minority teachers so to be able to be one and represent not only WKU and myself and my district and just the community. So I think I’m up for the challenge.”

Karma says she’s thankful for her job as a bus driver that helped bring her to this moment.

“I don’t have to worry about the financials of going to school and getting another master’s degree. I can be more influential to them you know if I’m teaching. If I’m in a classroom.

She’s also showing her three sons that hard work pays off.

“It’s all coming together. I’m thankful for that.”

Dr. Murphy says Gamechangers started last year with six people. Ten more are in the program this year and they hope to expand it to fifteen people next year.

To learn more about Gamechangers, you can email tammy.spinks@wku.edu.

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