Interview with Rachel Dothager. Media by Denee Menghini.
This week’s alumni spotlight falls on 2011 Greenville graduate Rachel Dothager. Rachel took full advantage of her Greenville experience by participating in a variety of organizations, clubs, and trips. In the interview below, Rachel shares some of her experiences from the past few years. Rachel will be speaking this Thursday at Vespers. The Papyrus thanks Rachel for engaging with us as we go beyond the bachelors.
What did you study at Greenville?
What was the most transformational thing you experienced at Greenville?
EDU 101, along with various Urban Plunge trips, changed my life. Through both of those experiences, I felt God’s call on my life to teach and serve in the city. EDU 101, specifically, laid the foundations for my career as a Christian teacher and provided the initial experience during which I fell in love with inner-city education.
Tell us about your journey since graduation. What have you been doing in the time since you graduated?
I’ve been busy! Having a call to serve doesn’t guarantee a job, but God has always provided for me. I moved to St. Louis immediately after graduation and live in a loft apartment on The Hill with two roommates. It’s the best! After graduating in December, I took over for a leave of absence for a first grade teacher at a charter school. The following year I taught computers at a public elementary school and worked retail to help pay the bills. That year was tough, but I always had enough. I am currently a Pre-K teacher at South City Community School, a private Christian school that is just incredible. The Journey– Tower Grove is my home church, and I also serve in Journey Kids. Being part of a Christ-like church body has made a huge impact on my life these past couple of years. In addition, this past summer I was blessed to serve as the Director for Durley Youth Camps, a ministry that I have always loved and believed in. I also went backpacking in China and Thailand the summer of 2012 with a girlfriend from high school, which was an incredible experience.
How did Greenville prepare you for where you are at now in your life?
Greenville prepared me in so many ways. I knew exactly what I was looking for in a home church, and appreciate my church even more because of the teaching I received at GC. In addition, my education courses prepared me better than most first year teachers, and the subsequent years since. Shout out to the awesome Education department!! You all are the best!!
How did the opportunity to speak in vespers come to you?
Three summer ago, I was the Assistant Director at Durley, and Brittney Gilleland was one of the counselors. I grew very close to Brittney that summer and have continued to invest in that relationship. I have loved hearing about Brittney’s vision and care for Vespers the last two years. She has joked around this whole time about me coming back to speak, and I always blew it off. But she officially asked me a couple of months ago, and I felt like God was telling me to get over my fears and go for it.
Give us a sneak peak from your vespers talk. What can we expect on Thursday night?
The topic is Reconciliation and the Community. I’ll be analyzing my experiences in brokenness and reconciliation globally, in St. Louis, and in Greenville. It’s a challenging, but hopeful message.
If you could tell current students one thing about life after college, what would you say?
Life after college is not what you expect it will be. It’s important to have a plan, but things often don’t turn out how you anticipate they will. Even if your plan happens, it’s often through an unexpected means. So be willing to adapt and accept the changes that come with various jobs, traveling, roommates, and relationships