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SRP scholarships help ASU students fulfill dreams


May 24, 2006

Five Arizona State University students recently received Salt River Project’s Bridge to the Classroom Scholarship.

Anna Marie Esquivel, Alejandro Lucero, Cynthia Marquez, Cindy Ponce and Leticia Sanchez each received $2,000 from SRP to assist them with tuition and other expenses while completing their student teaching requirements.

The Bridge to the Classroom Scholarship is specifically for ASU’s West campus College of Teacher Education and Leadership students in their final semester while student teaching. The scholarship was established to financially assist education majors as they work to attain their degree and meet certification requirements to teach in Arizona.

To complete their degree, education majors must student teach full-time, without pay, for 15 weeks. Classroom teaching, lesson planning and parent communication require a great deal of time and focus, and students are usually compelled to quit their paying jobs.

The SRP scholarship not only assists students with their needs, it helps Valley school districts meet their needs as well. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be willing to teach in an underserved school. For one student it is like going home again.

Scholarship recipient Lucero is not only a graduate of Trevor G. Browne High School, he is now student teaching at the underserved, inner city school. “Teaching at Trevor Browne gives me the opportunity to give back to the community that gave me so much,” he said. “My aspirations to become a teacher began at Trevor, so it is very fitting that my journey to become an educator will culminate where it began.”

Recipients of the Bridge to the Classroom Scholarship are currently student teaching in the following school districts: Alhambra Elementary, Balsz Elementary, Glendale Elementary, Phoenix Union High School district, and Riverside Elementary. The districts serve high poverty, English language learners.

“I’ve wanted to be a teacher ever since I can remember,” said Esquivel. “This scholarship will help make my dream of becoming a teacher a reality. It also give me the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the children that walk into my life, whether or not they are my student.”

Esquivel is a student in the College of Teacher Education and Leadership’s Bilingual Education program. Currently she is student teaching at Desert Gardens in the Glendale Elementary School District.

SRP is committed to supporting teaching professionals who posses the skills, sensitivities and knowledge to serve culturally diverse Valley communities. The Bridge to the Classroom Scholarship is an investment in the growth and vitality of higher education and is critical to attracting outstanding multicultural students.

“We appreciate what Salt River Project has done for the students,” said Joseph Ryan, interim dean of the College of Teacher Education and Leadership at ASU’s West campus. "This is the beginning of an ongoing relationship that supports our students’ future careers as teachers.”

Photo: (from left to right) Anna Esquivel, Leticia Sanchez, Cynthia Marquez, Cindy Ponce and Alejandro Lucero