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Mount seniors Kenia Rosa (left) and Lorena Sinoi Mataalii (right) are recipients of prestigious Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color.

Mount Seniors Win Prestigious Teaching Fellowships

March 1, 2010 -- Two seniors at Mount Saint Mary’s University have been awarded prestigious Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color. The fellowships, awarded to just 25 students across the country, include a $30,000 stipend for each recipient to complete a master’s degree in education.

Kenia Rosa ’10 and Lorena Sinoi Mataalii ’10 were chosen through a competitive selection process. Each fellow was nominated by one of the program’s college or university partners, and all are graduating seniors with grade point averages of 3.0 and above. Fellows commit to a three-year teaching assignment in public schools and receive mentoring along the way, as well as guidance toward teaching certification.

“Congratulations to these students for this magnificent achievement,” says Mount St. Mary’s President Jacqueline Powers Doud. “The fellowships allow our students to pursue their passion for teaching, and to share their enthusiasm in public schools.”

Mataalii, a first generation college student, plans to enroll in an Ivy League master’s program and return to her hometown of Los Angeles to teach kindergarten or first grade. “I always loved my own first grade experience and everything that went along with it,” she says. “The eagerness of that age group just blows my mind. This fellowship is a big support to help me continue toward my goals.”

Rosa says her goal is to finish her master’s degree with an emphasis in literacy, and then to enter the classroom as an elementary school teacher. She then plans to work in a college setting designing programs to prepare future teachers of language. She says her love for the education field grows when she sees a child succeed. “I enjoy seeing the progress that students make. It is truly gratifying to see a student move from point A to point B,” she says.

Established in 1992 by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color were created to help recruit, support, and retain individuals of color as public education teachers and administrators. Since the program’s inception, it has awarded nearly $8 million in grants and financial assistance to 350 Fellows. In January 2009, RBF transferred the program to the Woodrow Wilson Foundation following a national review of potential host organizations. Mount St. Mary's counts more Rockefeller Brothers Fund fellowship recipients than any other institution nationwide.

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