Alejandra Salazar is a College of Education Student Ambassador and President of the College Council of COESA (The College of Education Student Assembly). She is currently a student in the Liberal Studies Integrated Teacher Preparation Program (ITEP), whose goal is to become a bilingual teacher (Spanish/English). Born and raised in Long Beach, she transferred to Cal State Long Beach from Long Beach City College. I had the opportunity to talk with Alejandra about her experiences leading up to and becoming an outstanding student in the College of Education. She talked of personally benefiting from the advocacy and help from her mother and dedicated teachers, and her commitment to giving back to the educational community.
I asked Alejandra, who inspired you to pursue teaching? And she said, “I was in the public education system and was considered an “at-risk student” academically. I had very low reading scores, very low math. My mom was the person who stepped up for me. She advocated for me along with amazing teachers, who were able to provide her with resources for local tutoring. I had teachers who would collaborate with each other, so one would tutor in the morning, one would tutor at lunch and one would tutor after school. I was surrounded by a variety of different teachers with different teaching strategies who motivated me to keep pushing. It was a combination of my mom and having really great teachers that stepped up to the plate that really helped me out and helped me develop into the person and student that I am today.
I chose Cal State Long Beach’s College of Education because I felt that my Long Beach community gave me so much that I wanted to step up and be able to give back to the community. And I wanted to help those students who may not be as fortunate to have a parent or guardian or someone in their family or household that advocates for their education.”
Alejandra expressed her hopes and dreams as a future teacher and advocate for children, saying, “I hope to be able to give back to my community by providing resources to parents who may not know where to get these resources. I hope to be an advocate for students who may not be fortunate enough to have a family member in their household that can advocate for them and to show them that their words are valuable no matter their age. If you have something to say, that every word that a child says is something valuable. Even if we may not understand their words and intentions, for that child it’s important for them to feel like they’re being heard, which helps to motivate the child to continue to push forward and better themselves.
I plan on being a K-5 bilingual teacher. I would like to teach middle school and high school, as well. And then eventually I’m considering either being a professor or an advisor at a university so I can help future educators in their development. That would be my way of giving back to education.”
Alejandra’s story is an inspiration to current students and future teachers. She’s a highly engaged student with a commitment to sharing her time and talents with others. Go Beach!
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