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Nearly deaf from a long-undiagnosed ear infection as a young child, Julian Mosher quickly fell behind in his academic development. Later, relegated to unmotivating special education classes in a depressing basement classroom, he doubted he’d ever be a good learner.
Then, inspiring teachers at Tacoma’s Lincoln High School—and an eventual scholarship to UW Tacoma—changed his life and his future.
Raised by a single dad who worked as a warehouse manager, Julian split his time among special ed classes, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and “mainstream” classes throughout most of his schooling. Encouraged by his IEP manager, Kim Eudaily, he was accepted into an after-school program in high school that helped him with extra tutoring, study skills, college prep and more teacher-led inspiration.
In his sophomore year, English teacher Hope Teague-Bowling recognized how hard Julian was trying and helped him along. At the end of the school year, she invited him to join her advanced English class as a junior. He discovered new authors and a love of reading and writing, and earned the second-highest grade in class. (“I couldn’t beat Brittany,” he smiles.)
A government teacher and Hope’s husband, Nathan Gibbs-Bowling—who in 2016 was named Washington State’s Teacher of the Year—also took special interest in Julian, recommending him to be one of only 30 students to meet with the President of China when the international leader came to Lincoln. Julian earned a coveted B in the notoriously tough teacher’s AP government class.
“I’m so grateful to all the teachers who invested so much in helping me,” Julian says. “Up until the 11th or 12th grade, I didn’t think I was college material. But now, here I am at UW Tacoma.”
Julian knew he wanted to stay close to home to go to college, but he also knew it would be a challenge for his father to take out loans to help him cover the costs. Checking his email late one night, he got word of his UW Tacoma scholarship.
“I was so surprised. I called my father at one o’clock in the morning and he couldn’t believe it either. It covered everything. It made a big difference,” Julian recalls.
At UW Tacoma, he’s finding still more inspiration in his early-choice major of Politics, Philosophy and Economics.
“I love the professors and the concepts and discovering new things,” he says.
He’s considering a future career in the public sector, perhaps City of Tacoma government. For a student who began his education with little confidence and questioned promise, the sky’s the limit.
John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or firstname.lastname@example.org