Gordon Albright School of Education
Diversity Scholarship Recipients - 2009
At City University of Seattle, we believe ethnic diversity in our student body is an important part of the overall learning experience.
It is also our goal to educate and facilitate the placement of teachers of color in classrooms to serve our diverse communities.
Scholarships are available for the Bachelor of Arts in Education and Master in Teaching Programs. To qualify for a Diversity Scholarship each student must:
- Be part of an ethnic minority population
- Demonstrate financial need
- Meet the admissions requirements for the BAEd or MIT programs
- Be seeking initial teacher certification
To date over 70 scholarships have been awarded with a tuition value of nearly one million dollars.
In her experience as a young African American woman, Élana Towers has come to realize that diversity exists on
many levels and is open to a range of interpretations. To be a successful teacher, she knows she must embrace
diversity fully and understand all the various ways people differ from one another, whether those differences
are racial, ethnic, gender or age-related.
"In my six years of working with Head Start, I have been fortunate to work with children of various backgrounds
including Russian, Vietnamese and Somali," says Gordon Albright School of Education student Lorena Vazquez.
"Each child motivates me to challenge myself. I intend to continue in the field of education so that I can
truly inspire my students as they so inadvertently inspire me."
Carrie "Miran" Towey
As a Korean-American student with a long history of working with diverse populations at home and abroad, Carrie
"Miran" Towey believes that the strength of America lies in that we are a cultural melting pot. "Our amalgamation
of culture and ethnicity is what makes us unique," says Towey. "It characterizes how change is the sole constant
in what defines what is good and innovative in America."
Angelita Calle was inspired to pursue a teaching career when she was a volunteer in her daughter's kindergarten
classroom. There she realized she didn't want just a job; she wanted to acquire the professional skills she
needed to become a good teacher. Currently enrolled in City University of Seattle's Master in Teaching program,
Calle plans to teach in a bilingual classroom setting after graduation and "be a role model for children."
Nelson Rojas has tutored low-income children of Hispanic heritage at a youth center and worked as a program
coordinator for homeless African-American families in transitional housing. Both of these experiences have shown
him how vital mentoring and caring for both children and parents of diverse backgrounds can be. A student in
City University of Seattle's Master in Teaching program, Rojas plans to teach elementary school children after
graduation, instilling the confidence and skills they need for life success.
In 2007, Andres Lopez and his wife decided to act on their true passions and embark upon careers that would
improve social conditions in the United States. Recognizing a need for improved educational opportunities for
minority youth, Lopez chose teaching. He knew that as a Mexican-American bilingual math teacher, he would have
the greatest chance to connect with and impact the lives of kids with childhoods that closely paralleled his own.
Malia Orbino marvels at all the things she has learned working with diverse children, but one lesson stands out:
"They all want the same things adults do," she says. "They want to be respected, listened to, taken seriously and
accepted no matter what culture they're from, who they worship, or what tax bracket they're in." Currently
enrolled in CityU's Master in Teaching program, Orbino is thankful for the life she has been able to lead.
"I've worked with children for over 10 years and being able to touch the life of a child is unparallel to anything
else I've ever experienced."
Cindy Le's experience as a Vietnamese-American child struggling to learn English and the teachers who helped her
surmount the difficulties she faced are the inspiration and driving force behind her dream of becoming a teacher
and helping diverse children. "With the extra help I received, I was able to overcome adversity and accomplish
something," says Le. "These children remind me of myself and that is why I am so passionate about helping them
succeed." The Bryant Elementary student tutor and Jumpstart team leader is currently enrolled in CityU's Master
in Teaching program.
Elizabeth Phillips' track record as a community leader committed to serving others is awe-inspiring. In high
school, she volunteered daily at the Adelle Maxwell Center, caring for children whose mothers were homeless or
low-income. In college, she started a tutoring club for Polynesian grade school and high school students and
an after-school program in a low-income area of Seattle. After completing her B.A. in English, Phillips trained
in a bilingual English and Korean mission program before traveling to Jordan, Israel, Palestine and Pakistan.
In these nations, she used her photography talents to capture the beauty.
One comment from a discouraged child struggling to learn English was all it took for Carmen Nickels to realize
her calling in life. "In my native country, I could be a doctor," the little boy said. "Here, I'm having a hard
time getting through one class." Nickels knew right then she had a purpose - that she could make a difference in
a child's life. As a teacher, she hopes to use her bilingual skills to help minority students overcome the
language barrier, as well as inspire and give all her students the tools they need to reach their goals and dreams.