Cerritos College Urban Teacher Fellowship Graduate the First Cohort of Students
Eleven Former At-risk Youth Part of 61 New Teacher TRAC Graduates
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 23, 2012
Media Contact:Aya Abelon, Public Affairs; (562) 653-7878
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NORWALK. Calif. - May 23, 2012 - Cerritos College's Teacher TRAC (Training Academy) program honored 61 Teacher TRAC program students on Thursday, May 10, as they moved closer to gaining a bachelor's degree and teaching credential from one of its partner CSU campuses. The new group of graduates joins the growing party of nearly 500 Teacher TRAC graduates.
Among those who graduated was the first cohort of students from the Urban Teacher Fellowship (UTF), teacher training program for at-risk youth. Eleven UTF students successfully completed the teacher education program and are transferring to four-year universities to continue their education.
"UTF allowed me to experience what it was like to have other students driving toward the same goal," said Richere Bernard, one of the UTF graduates. "We have had our ups and downs but we knew that we have the same goal and that it would be better and easier to get there together rather than alone."
Honoring Teacher TRAC students at the recognition ceremony were the Cerritos College Board of Trustees Tom Jackson and Jean McHatton, senior members of Cerritos College administration, Director of Teacher TRAC Sue Parsons, Dr. Karen Karen Hakim -But, associate dean of the College of Education at CSU Long Beach, and Teacher TRAC faculty members.
Each graduate received a commemorative golden apple in recognition of their completion of the first leg of the Teacher TRAC program and a certificate from Congresswoman Grace Napolitano.
Those graduating from the program are:
Richere Bernard (UTF)
Lyndsey Jordan (UTF)
Dominique Kruip (UTF)
Sandra Martinez (UTF)
Veronica Mata (UTF)
Adrian Leonel Mejia
Jessica Morales (UTF)
Daisy Rodriguez (UTF)
Shaylene Ruiz (UTF)
Melissa Sanchez (UTF)
Tarra Swoboda (UTF)
Adriana Villareal (UTF)
Scholarship awards were also presented during the event. Richere Bernard, Anne Kelemen, Maria Lopez and Nivole Routt each received an Eruditio Scholarship for $1,000 each.
Esther Espinoza Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 was presented to Denise Ontiveros by the Honorable Judge Peter Espinoza and Sicily Espinoza.
Selina Chavez received $2,500 D. Franklin Wright Scholarship for Prospective Math Teachers.
The $1,000 Fred Gaskin Scholarship was presented to Sylvia Guzman by from Krystal Vasquez, who received the scholarship in 2009. The scholarship will be matched 100% by CSULB to make it $2,000.
Antonio Lopez, a Teacher TRAC alumnus from the Teacher TRAC Class of 2010, provided closing remarks and encouraged the class of 2012.
"Make a difference in teaching and learning," said Lopez to the new graduates.
In partnership with CSULB, Cerritos College's Teacher TRAC program gives future teachers an opportunity to complete their bachelor's degree and multiple subjects credential in four years. Its Career technicalEducation (CTE) Teacher Pathways Program, which addresses the statewide need for CTE teachers at the secondary and community college level, provides CTE teacher preparation in automotive, earlychildhood education, welding and woodworking. The Urban Teacher Fellowship component provides streamlined services and pathways for youth at risk for gang influence interested in teaching K-12. Moreinformation on how to be a part of CTE Teacher TRAC is available at www.teachertrac.com or at 562.860.2451 ext.2212.
Cerritos College serves as a comprehensive community college for southeastern Los Angeles County. Communities within the college's district include Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, LaMirada, Norwalk, and portions of Bell Gardens, Lakewood, Long Beach, Santa Fe Springs and South Gate. Cerritos College offers degrees and certificates in more than 180 areas of study in nine divisions.Annually, more than 1,200 students successfully complete their course of studies, and enrollment currently averages 23,000 students. Visit Cerritos College online at http://www.cerritos.edu/.