Alumni Carrying Out the Pepperdine Mission
Class of 2011 graduates Brendan Fereday and Elizabeth (Johnstone) Yomantas are both pursuing fulfilling careers as elementary school teachers in California
though their students come from very different backgrounds. Brendan works as a fourth
grade teacher at a low income/high-need school in Santa Barbara where the student
majority are English language learners and have experienced high trauma, abuse, and
extreme poverty. Elizabeth's students attend Oaks Christian, a well-funded private
school in Thousand Oaks. These alumni were classmates in Dr. Gose's education class
and now find themselves in completely different worlds.
Elizabeth decided to do something to bring their students together. Her class started a book drive for Brendan's students a few months ago and they ended up receiving 750 books; much more than they could have ever imagined and the extra donations were given to the school library. Elizabeth, a few of her students, and the Oaks Christian dean went out to Brendan's school a few weeks ago to personally deliver the books and read with the students. Elizabeth and Brendan are actively carrying out Pepperdine's motto —"Freely ye received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8) — impressed upon them during their time at Pepperdine. They are now passing George Pepperdine's dream onto their students in the form of sharing the joy of learning and giving back.