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Alexis Nava Teodoro – January 2013 Scholar of the Month

Hometown: Santa Ana, CA

Degree: B.A., Economics & Chicano Studies

School: California State University, Long Beach

Receiving a college degree is considered an equalizer and the way for families to rise on the economic ladder. My experience has taught me something unique and beautiful about the way education plants its seed inside of people. It taught me that I can and want to transform my community to create a safe and productive environment where even high school dropouts and children of undocumented families can overcome obstacles that are placed upon them. My field of study is education and I plan to obtain a PhD. However, my career goal is to become the first Latino from an undocumented family, to be the secretary of education for the U.S.

This scholarship will help me achieve my goals of graduating with my Bachelor degree from California State University Long Beach, but to also help me pay for my preparation for graduate school. I plan to apply to the Harvard School of Education and if I am accepted, I will be between the two students from the city of Santa Ana that have graduated with a Harvard degree. In addition, the money I will receive will aid me personally to pay with my living expenses and textbooks I need to purchase for my next summer and fall semesters.

Once I receive my PhD in Sociology with an emphasis in education, immigration, and critical pedagogy, I will propose changes in the way the youth of my city are currently being taught. I believe that schools should create a supportive space for youth in immigrant families where the students feel part of the learning process. I also want to create an art non-profit in Santa Ana, California where after-school programs focus on fostering the creativity of young students. By using theater of the oppressed, poetry, music, creative writing, social media, painting, and community organizing, my organization will play a role in fostering leadership, culture, and higher education awareness in our Latino youth.