Stephan Sanford ’18
Pomona, California
Stephan Sanford

Student teacher

A California native, Stephan says he chose to attend Northwestern because it was the best place for him to grow in his faith while getting a great education and participating in sports. A member of the college’s football team, Stephan is majoring in physical education, with a minor in health and an endorsement in coaching. After graduation he wants to move to Denver and work as a teacher and coach to help urban kids with little direction. He is also considering getting a master’s degree to coach college football.

Moving forward, giving back
My decision to major in education was influenced by the place where I grew up. It was rough, I had no father around, and there was trouble everywhere. The only people who showed faith in me outside of my family were my teachers—they were the only ones who pushed me to be something I thought I could never be. One of my teachers always told me, “Stef, when you make it big one day, don’t forget to give back.” Becoming a teacher is a great way for me to give back to my community and give more to kids than what they’re getting now.

Genuine interest
What I appreciate about the education faculty is how much they actually care about me as a person. When they ask me how I’m doing, they’re not asking about me as just a student or another athlete. They want to know how Stephan Sanford is doing.

Cause and effect
The best memory I’ve had at Northwestern so far was when I got my first A on a test in a human anatomy class. That course was so hard for me, but my professor kept pushing me to do my best, and sooner (rather than later) it came out of me. 

Super students
The strength of the education program here is they expect nothing but your best at all times. Professors hear about students who slack off or become undisciplined at times, and they call you out on it. This program makes sure that when we graduate with a degree in education, we are sharp, elite, and can perform the way teachers are supposed to: like heroes without the cape.