Andria Scheese grew up in Oregon City, Ore., and attended Oregon City High School. She appears to be not all that different from her teammates on the Concordia University (Portland, Ore.) women’s cross country team. That in itself is a compliment and testament to the 33-year-old senior business major. Scheese began working at McDonald’s at 16 not to make extra spending money, but to support her family. Raised by a single parent, Scheese’s mother needed her help to care for her younger and older sisters. The road was not easy for the avid runner as she juggled work and school. Scheese married and had her first child at 19. Two years later, she found herself divorced and wanting to provide a better life for her family. She took a job as a packaging clerk with Kaiser Permanente and was soon promoted to lead staffer. Scheese had her eyes on a management role, but needed a college degree. After running a road race with her sister, Scheese thought she might still have the talent to compete on the collegiate level. She could use her love of running to obtain that elusive degree. Scheese soon enrolled at Concordia and overcame a broken foot to join the cross country team. Her perseverance paid off. In 2009, Scheese qualified for the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships and set a school record in the preliminaries of the 3,000-meter run. She earned All-America honors at the 2009 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships with a third-place finish in the 1,500 meters. Concordia University coach Randy Dalzell said, “She has been an inspiration to her teammates by showing a positive attitude about everything she does. She believes in the system we have put in place for her and does all the little things she has to in order to get the best results.” Scheese is a true role model. She works as an account manager by day, takes classes at night, and remains a dedicated mother to her three children. She will graduate from Concordia this spring and looks forward to pursuing her MBA at the school. Andria Scheese shows that while the road to your dreams may be bumpy and longer than you thought, you can get there… just keep running.
Andria Scheese is the recipient of the NAIA’s “All That’s Right in Sport” Award.