Fay Sasser Scholarship Recipients Follows Their Passions (Part 3 of 4)
By Jake Ten Pas
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. For 44 years at Multnomah Athletic Club, Fay Sasser was the employee who knew the most members’ names, helping to give the club the homey feeling for which it’s still known. She created community one interaction at a time, and her name lives on in MAC and Multnomah Athletic Foundation’s awarding of the annual scholarships in her name.
It doesn’t take a memory like Sasser’s to remember the names of this year’s MAC Employee Scholarship Program recipients, who all have unforgettable tales to tell. Each one of them received $5,000 to help them further develop their stories by pursuing higher education opportunities. These dreamers envision a better world, and MAC and MAF are helping them to realize their full potential as they pursue their passions.
A lot has changed for Marissa Montejano since she was profiled in last year’s Fay Sasser Scholarship recipient roundup! In August, she got married, and before that, she was in Ecuador as part of her Spanish bilingual concentration. At the end of this school year, she’ll receive her master’s degree in speech and language pathology.
“I was planning my wedding while in grad school, which was like having another full-time job! Plus, I was still coaching very part time, and then on top of that, full-time school and I was still working at my research lab,” she says, referring lastly to her managerial duties at PSU and OHSU’s Social Communication Lab. “A lot of this stuff sounds the same on paper, but I think I really grew in terms of diving deeper into speech language pathology and learning more about the clients I’m going to be serving, as well as the different topics it encompasses.”
Needless to say, she was pretty thrilled when she won her second MAC Employee Scholarship. As a synchronized swimming coach at the club, she says she’s always poured her heart into her job, and the feeling of being appreciated and supported by MAC and MAF means a great deal.
“I also can pay down my loans faster, and then hopefully just set up my whole life for getting my job and getting my career started,” she adds. “It makes you feel more like you can find a job because you’re passionate about it versus taking the first job offered because you need to prioritize your loans over your career.”
Montejano also says that she’s gotten so much more from MAC than money. Her working experience at the club has taught her a degree of professionalism not always present in others her age. “Going into the clinics, and especially working with the parents of kids dealing with communications challenges, I don’t feel intimidated.” Teaching MAC kids synchro gave her confidence in her ability to speak to children and parents alike. “You feel very special as a coach, and now that I’m using these experiences outside MAC, I feel like I’m in a place where I’m giving and receiving respect.”
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