Gordon Albright School of Education
Diversity Scholarship Recipients - Summer 2006

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 67 scholarships have been awarded with a tuition value of nearly one million dollars.

Linda M. Harada
Linda M. Harada
Linda Harada has served her community as a paraeducator for over 12 years. During that time, she has worked with many students struggling with a variety of disabilities. Her years of experience have taught her that perseverance is key.

"No matter what the disability, mild to more severe, I felt that each of these students were able to learn something," says Harada. "Whether it was just to smile, read, write, or say their names, it was an accomplishment for them. With students with disabilities, one must have patience and hope."

Five years ago, while working in a self-contained, special education classroom with non-verbal students, Harada decided to make any sacrifice necessary to become a special education teacher. "Those students melted my heart," she says.

Harada enrolled in City University's Special Education K-12 program. "Although college is challenging, I know I can make it," she says. "I am focused on making a difference in the lives of students in the special needs population. I know I can do it. More important, I know I can do it well."

Harada is the mother of two daughters. Both attend college—one requires the use of a wheelchair. She credits having a child with a physical disability as another source of her inspiration.

Maria Yazmin Gil
Maria Yazmin Gil
At the age of 16, Maria Yazmin Gil found herself homeless, illegal, and practically orphaned in this country. Her father was in jail, her mother in Mexico. She had no place to sleep and barely enough to eat. Not having legal status made it nearly impossible for her to apply for a job or ask for government assistance. Gil was living a nightmare.

With dedication and sacrifices, she not only survived—she excelled. She traded babysitting for housing and housecleaning for food. She paid for her two-year college education and then graduated with honors. For the last nine years she has worked as a paraeducator, serving in three different school districts. During that time, she touched the lives of hundreds of children.

Today, Gil has a new goal. "CityU has given me the opportunity to be the first one in my family to get a higher education and the opportunity to continue to be a positive role model for minorities." She's currently enrolled in City University's Bachelor of Arts in Education program.

Brianne Hall
Brianne Hall
Brianne Hall thinks minority children would fare better if they had more minority role models. That's exactly what she hopes to be for her students when she finally becomes a teacher.

"I know what it's like (to be a minority) and wonder 'does anyone understand what I'm going through?'" says Hall. "I want my students to turn to me and know that I know what it's like to be different and see that minorities can be successful in life."

A multi-ethnic woman of both Mexican and African-American descent, Hall spent nine months tutoring children growing up in Seattle's lowest income communities. She credits Shukreya, an eighth grader, and Tawakal, a second grader, with changing her life for good. They and their "smiling faces" helped her realize her future as a teacher.

"The intrinsic rewards of successfully motivating a student who struggled as much as Tawakal will stay with me for a long time to come," admits Hall. "And working with Shukreya taught this future teacher the invaluable lesson that students who are simply getting by deserve just as much motivation and praise as those who are struggling."

Hall considers her mom a big inspiration, too. A registered nurse, she recently returned to school for her business degree. "I look at the great accomplishments my mother has reached in her life, and I want only to have the opportunity to attend school and finish the goals I've set for myself so I can make her proud."

Natalia Juganaru
Natalia Juganaru
Natalia Juganaru was a grade school teacher in Romania when her principal recruited her to implement and teach an American program called "Step by Step." Intrigued by the different teaching styles and methods used by the program, Juganaru accepted the challenge, was trained by American instructors, and then formed a first grade class.

"I am a teacher and a student," says Juganaru. "I learn from others and teach others to learn. I have a thirst for knowledge and a drive to seek out new methods and techniques that benefit the students and ensure their success."

One of her biggest "techniques" is getting her students excited about learning. In Romania, she initiated several extracurricular programs and activities, including newspaper production and dance class. She helped her students stage fashion shows, carnivals, and recitals. She even created a theater group. Four of her actors were selected to participate in a nationally televised children's show.

When Juganaru moved to America, she worked as a preschool teacher at a childcare center. She advanced to the position of program supervisor, and later, became the center's director. She was put in charge of planning and implementing curriculum, training new employees, and overseeing daily operations.

Though successful, Juganaru realized she missed the joys of teaching every day. She enrolled in City University's Bachelor of Arts in Education program. "My goal is to become an elementary school teacher so I can return to my passion," she admits. "I want to be back in the classroom helping students discover the world around them, instilling in them the love for learning."