A Look into the Lasallian Educator Fellowship Program with Evan Vaughan '22

by by Cat Blohm | February 22, 2021

We sat down with Counseling student Evan Vaughan ‘22 to explore the role of the Lasallian Educator Fellowship Program in the lives of students at the Kalmanovitz School of Education.

The Lasallian Educator Fellowship Program is a longstanding scholarship opportunity based out of the Kalmanovitz School of Education, in partnership with the Office of Mission at Saint Mary’s College of California. The Fellowship Program’s mission is to prepare quality educators for our Lasallian schools in the San Francisco New Orleans district. The scholarship is designed for Saint Mary’s graduate students whose commitment in furthering the Catholic Lasallian mission is at the heart of their practice. Whether these graduate students are aspiring teachers, counselors, or administrators, the Lasallian Educator Fellowship program offers a substantial tuition discount in exchange for three years of salaried service at one of the Lasallian Catholic Schools.

In the 2020-21 academic year, the Lasallian Educator Fellowship Program welcomed its 20th anniversary cohort. To learn more about the fellowship in action, we spoke with Evan Vaughan '22, a current Kalmanovitz School of Education Counseling student who also serves as Assistant Director of Graduate Support at De Marillac Academy — a tuition-free, Catholic, Lasallian and Vincentian middle school spanning fourth through eighth grades, located in San Francisco, CA. Vaughan is originally from Bakersfield, CA and moved to the Bay Area over 10 years ago for college. Since then, Vaughan served as a Youth Ministry Coordinator in Portland, Maine through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, taught high school Spanish in New York City, and now works in the Department of Graduate Support at De Marillac Academy. His current role is to support students in exploring their vocations by pursuing their individual passions. Still, Vaughan wants to expand the reach of his impact.

In remembering the conversation with his direct supervisor at the time, he said, “I'm loving what I do, I'm loving this field and working with students. How do I keep doing this? What's the next step in my career?”

Through De Marillac Academy’s connection to Saint Mary’s, and via word of mouth that other staff members and alumni from the Academy had gone through the Lasallian Educator Fellowship Program, Vaughan explored his options in the Bay Area which ultimately resulted in him joining the counseling program at the Kalmanovitz School of Education. Like many others who are interested in attending graduate school, financial aid and scholarships were a big part in his choosing a program to attend.

However, the Lasallian Educator Fellowship Program is more than just a tuition scholarship opportunity. The program also gives each cohort of students the opportunity to create a network of like-minded individuals with the same core values as one another.

“We in the cohort work as teachers, counselors, administrators, and leadership - pursuing our calling to serve our community,” said Vaughan.

While all of our programs in the Kalmanovitz School of Education are service-based, the Lasallian Educator Fellowship program provides an additional lens of faith, spirituality, and service to the general coursework that our students take in their studies of interest.

“Connecting with other fellows and people who are also former volunteers, like me, is really special. Like with my colleagues at De Marillac, we're on the same page of serving those in need,” Vaughan said.

We asked Vaughan what changes have come about due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaughan explained that some of the students at his school site do not have access to quality Wi-Fi, and some may be hesitant to show their homespace on video. He also told a story of a struggling student who reached out for counseling help, but did not have access to privacy in their home, so Vaughan had to explore new ways to support them in a way that was best fit for the situation. When asked about what changes have come in his life as a result of remote instruction due to the pandemic, he explained that while the pivot has been difficult in many ways, it has also brought about a lot of opportunities for his own self care and to approach his role with students at De Marillac in new ways. As a counseling student, he is always taught that self-care is important in order to show up for others, but with a long commute and a demanding schedule, he felt as if he was always pushing off doing things that made him feel at peace. However, now that he no longer has a 45-minute commute to class, he is able to make himself a decent meal, go on bike rides or walks, and take care of himself. He shared with us that he is now able to show up for his students in a different way. With this new ability to be fully present for his students, even with the virtual connections that are necessitated by the enduring learning from home conditions, he is able to help his students through some of the new challenges they are facing in their home environment. 

It was clear from our time with Vaughan that he has found ways to stay grounded and channel his Lasallian values to meet students where they are. He is grateful for the opportunity to see the world in ways he might never have had it not been for the recent changes in circumstance. Vaughan has chosen to share some of the photographs he has taken while biking and going for his walks in the city. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. 

Learn more about the Lasallian Educator Fellowship Program