ST. LOUIS — A woman who as a child bounced between foster homes and often slept on the couches of friends in Missouri has been named a 2021 Rhodes Scholar.
Mackenzie Fierceton, 23, is one of just 32 U.S. college students awarded a four-year scholarship for graduate studies at the University of Oxford in England, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Fierceton said her foster homes were in several St. Louis area municipalities, including Manchester, Clayton and Creve Coeur. She is a 2016 graduate of the Whitfield School in Creve Coeur, and praised the teachers at the school.
“They were my family when I had no one else,” she said. “They stepped up as role models and served as parental figures when I needed them most.”
Fierceton earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2018 from the University of Pennsylvania. She now is a graduate student at Penn and should earn a master’s degree in social work in 2021.
Along with her studies, Fierceton works part-time jobs as a policy fellow with the Philadelphia City Council and as a social worker at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.