Posted May 20, 2008

As a teacher and mortgage broker, grad hopes to make an impact

Bachelor of science: education

Photo by Joseph V. Labolito/Temple University
Matt Evangelist was working as a mortgage broker when he realized that he wanted to go back to school to become a teacher.

If you look at it from a standpoint of helping people create their futures, mortgage brokering and teaching aren’t really that far apart.

Mortgage brokers can help a young couple find a way to pay for that first house and start a future that includes kids and lots of good times, while teachers can help guide those kids toward their futures.

So in a sense, when Matt Evangelist, a student in the College of Education, graduates, he will have the best of both worlds.

On one end, he’ll be helping families secure their futures through home ownership as a mortgage broker over the summer. But during the school year, Evangelist will be guiding kids to their futures as a teacher and a football coach.

In fact, it was coaching football that led Evangelist to teaching. In 2000, he was asked to help out with the George Washington High School football team. Although he was then just starting his business as a mortgage broker, the students he worked with made him re-evaluate his career choice, he said.

“I liked working with the kids,” Evangelist said. “I would give up my afternoons to help the kids. I liked it so much that I gave up coaching to go to school.”

While the decision to return to school was easy, getting through school wasn’t, he said. Although he enjoyed working with his fellow College of Education colleagues, Evangelist was a nontraditional student and paid his way through school via bartending and other jobs, he said.

Luckily, Evangelist had someone to turn to for encouragement as he made his way through school, someone who had lived the experience of being a nontraditional student at Temple: his father.

“Dad would give me a pep talk,” he said. “He graduated from Temple when he was 44.”

While he’s leaning toward teaching high school students, and is currently coaching football at Northeast High School, his experience as a student teacher at Clara Barton Elementary School in North Philadelphia has made an impact, Evangelist said.

“It’s going to be hard to walk away,” he said. “I’ve gotten notes from these kids that say ‘we love you.’ It’s going to be a tough decision. I’ve learned more from these kids than I could ever teach them.”