Alumna Helps Student Realize a Decade-old Dream

by Sarah Reinhart '10

As a student, Jacqueline (Spelts) Roth ’02 participated in a mission trip to Kenya through the Office of World Missions and Empowering Lives International. While on this trip, she met a boy who would change her life. Shadrack, then 10 years old, constantly hovered around the team and eventually connected with Roth in particular. Though she has not seen him in person since she left Kenya, she has continued to keep in touch with, pray for, and sponsor him financially.

Specifically, Roth has been praying that God would provide a way for Shadrack to study at APU. “His life has been anything but easy. As a child, he and his mother and sisters were homeless and lived as squatters on a railroad track. His mother passed away in 2003 from HIV/AIDS, leaving him and his sisters orphaned. He persevered through it all and now his dream is to attend APU,” said Roth.

Nine years later, God has answered these prayers. Shadrack has been accepted to Azusa Pacific University and is slated to begin classes in fall 2010. He hopes to earn a bachelor’s degree in international business and use what he learns at APU to make a difference in his hometown and his entire country. In the essay that earned him APU’s Haggard International Scholarship, a $5,000 renewable award given for outstanding academics, he writes, “The program requirements are an incredible opportunity for me to grow and develop my Christian leadership skills as well as strengthen my faith in Christ. I would also gain the confidence and the ability to impact others’ lives in my own country with the knowledge and experience I have received.”

However, even with the scholarship from APU, Shadrack still needs a way to pay the rest of his tuition costs. So Roth has made it her goal to find the money needed to ensure that he obtains the education he desires and deserves. Together with her husband Federico ’00, and Stacie Champine ’02, M.A. ’06, director of the Office of Student Success, Roth has dedicated many hours to telling Shadrack’s story to everyone she meets. She has also partnered with David and Allison Tarus, a local pastor and his wife who adopted Shadrack when his mother died.

If you would like to help Shadrack and other students like him, you may contribute to APU's East Africa Scholarship Fund. For more information, please contact the Office of University Advancement at (626) 815-5333 or