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PLU Annual Fund

‘I Have No Idea Where I'd Be Without PLU’

Katie Scarr



PLU junior finds a calling through close collaboration with professor.

 Pacific Lutheran University junior Katie Scaff always knew she wanted to go to college after high school.
Although she’s the first in her family to pursue higher education, Scaff says “it didn’t ever cross my mind that I would go into the workforce after high school."
But “affording college was an issue for me. And one of the reasons I chose PLU is because I received so many scholarships that it made it a reasonable place to go to school.”
Scaff has still held a part-time job, working 10 to 20 hours a week, throughout her college experience--just so she can pay for her groceries and earn spending money.
“While some people say they can’t imagine how you work and go to school, I think it makes you learn how to balance your time,” she says. “You have more things to do, so you figure out how to do it.”
Scaff says the financial aid offer from PLU was only the beginning of the support she has received as a student here. She has enjoyed the small class sizes and the opportunity to work closely with professors--particularly Rob Wells, associate professor of communications.  
During her first year at PLU, Scaff became involved in MediaLab, for which Wells serves as faculty adviser. At MediaLab, Wells works closely with students to produce real-world communications projects.
Last fall, Scaff, along with two other MediaLab students, completed a documentary film called “Overexposed: The Cost of Compassion.” The film focuses on the idea that there is a human toll associated with trauma and suffering, and it tells the stories of first responders to disasters, as well as people who work, day in and day out, to meet the needs of others in crisis.
During the year they spent working on the film, the team traveled 12,000 miles by car, train and plane to interview subjects in California, Illinois, Washington D.C., New York City, and Ontario, Canada, where they attended the first-ever “Compassion Fatigue” conference.
All along the way, Wells was there, Scaff says, to coach the students on professional practices, to give pep talks, and to make sure they were eating, getting enough rest, and taking care of themselves.
The opportunity to work so closely with faculty is one of the signature themes of a PLU education.
“Coming here has helped me to find what I’m passionate about and what I want to do with my life,” Scaff says. And, as she is quick to point out, the PLU experience is made possible by donor support.
“I appreciate every dollar,” she says. “It made PLU affordable for me. The other financial packages I received from other schools weren’t as reasonable, so I don’t know if I would have been able to stay in school. So their gifts make a huge difference. I don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t go to PLU.”

Your gift to the PLU Annual Fund impacts the future for students like Katie Scaff, who are first in their family to go to college. Please give today because every gift counts.
 When you give to the Annual Fund, you make PLU possible for a student like Katie. Please give today.


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