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Isaias Faustino – June 2014 Scholar of the Month

CHCI-Box Tops for Education Scholar

Hometown: Goshen, Indiana

Degree: B.A. Elementary Education

School: Goshen College

I am pursuing a degree in elementary education, with a minor in Kinesiology. I hope to be a classroom teacher and coach football at some level. Currently I coach the Junior Football League (JFL), which is 3rd to 6th grades. I am a student at Goshen College in Indiana. Goshen has one of the largest Hispanic communities in Indiana, with 28% of its 30,000 people being Hispanic. I was brought to the States when I was 2, and grew up around Mexican immigrants –most of them only spoke Spanish. I have always done interpreting for my family and friends. I’ve seen the struggles they go through not speaking English. I want to help people who struggle fitting into the American culture. Because I am bilingual I can help my students make the transition to speaking English. My elementary teachers were key in helping me become the person I am. Because of this, I want to help Latino children integrate into the community through education, and having a safe place to spend their days.

My father returned to Mexico when I was 13. In football my coaches were male role models for me. The other players were like my family, especially when my family left for Mexico. This is why I want to coach football, and be a strong male role model for my students and players. I see many children in my neighborhood who come from broken homes. Many of them, from all races, need to see a male figure who is reliable. I know the pain of their situation, and I want to help them prosper in spite of their circumstances. Being a JFL coach, I’ve not only taught the children football, I’ve been able to give them advice and support that I hope they will take with them throughout their lives. Many of my players were Latino – probably 10% of them. I hope that in the future, as a teacher I will encourage more Hispanic boys to participate and get involved in their community.