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Who or what inspired you to become a teacher?

I come from a family of educators so I tell people that it is in my blood for me to follow in their footsteps. Being with children just comes so natural to me. Although, what really sealed the deal was working with a little girl with fetal-alcohol syndrome and ADHD when I was in high school. I was an EA at an after-school daycare and it was obvious that this individual was not treated fairly amongst her peers by her teachers during the day. As soon as I felt this, I decided to make a difference in this little lady's life and hold her to a standard that she can do all of the other things her classmates do! All it took was a little motivation, and this angel was ready to learn. I started seeing progress and I thought to myself, "I am the reason this student is really learning and understanding!" I felt really proud and passionate and that is where my true teaching inspiration sprouted.

What do you love about MSU Denver?

Working towards my CLD endorsement, I love the fact that MSU is so diverse. I do not think that there is any other university in Colorado that has the amount of diversity that MSU offers. I embrace the cultures and the accepting community that surrounds MSU. I can truly say that I learn something new every single day and that the professors here at MSU are some of the most DEDICATED humans I know. Other than that, I think the majority of MSU students share much of the same lifestyle. I am pleased to know that most of us are real people, trying to get a life by going to school, working all the time, and making ends meet. It is nice to know that the student body shares such a common lifestyle.

How do you see yourself making a difference in your community?

I see myself making a difference in the community by changing the way we see education. There is much that needs to be done in the education system, present day. Specifically, I want to change the way we see our CLD students. Many CLD students are learning English as a second language and are being labeled "deficient." How can we label a child deficient when they speak more languages than many adults? I think educators need to celebrate CLD students more in ways that embrace their cultures, rejoice to their successes, and expose every child to different cultures in order to make them active members in a diverse society. I also want to make a difference that each student in a classroom should be held to the same, but high standard, in hopes that the level of achievement increases across the board.

What is the importance of this scholarship to you?

This scholarship was the most important thing to happen to me in 2015! It made me feel extremely honored to be noticed and ultimately chosen to receive a scholarship. Like I said above, many of MSU Denver's students are in the same boat; living a hard life to make ends meet. This amount of money has helped me pay for textbooks, as well as a good portion of my tuition. Receiving the Suzanne Dunshee scholarship award made me feel proud and motivated to be an even better pre-service teacher within my fields and student teaching.

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