Pendleton teacher is 1 of 15 in the nation to win $100,000 grant - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Pendleton teacher is 1 of 15 in the nation to win $100,000 grant

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PENDLETON, OR - A Pendleton teacher is in the running to win a big chunk of money for her food truck idea; in fact, she's in the top fifteen in the nation.

Reporter Mackenzie Maynard spent the afternoon in Pendleton, talking with her and her students about the contest.

Kristin Swaggart is the culinary arts instructor at Pendleton High School, and she knows what it means to dream big.

"It was in the back of my mind, that it would be a great opportunity...then I had a dream that I had a food truck for my students and it was an ah-ha moment," Swaggart says, "that for one-hundred thousand dollars, that's a significant amount of money, that I could actually get a food truck."

She took her dream literally and applied for the one-hundred thousand dollar grant through the Dream Big Teacher Challenge, and now she's in the top fifteen across the country. If she wins, the grant will be used to get her students their own food truck.

"Across the board it's a vehicle that will help our school and our community," Swaggart said.

It'll be an extension of her classroom: showing the students how to run a business, cook delicious food fast, and her most important lesson to her kids; service.

"To serve each other, the kids need to learn to work together and help other groups."

They'll announce the final six winners at the end of October, and until then, everyone needs to keep voting.

"It's announced on the announcements every morning and we hear it on the radio, on leader boards in town, and the students have been the driving force," Swaggart said.

And now it's all up to the voters to help support Kristin and her students achieve their dreams and continue raising the bar as high as they can in hopes of serving their community.

If you want to vote, you can follow this link to the website: Just scroll down to find Kristin's name and video and vote for her on that page.