I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. I just never realized that my true passion would lie in serving my Latino community. As I sit on the brink of a new career, PhD in hand, constantly looking for ways to make education more equitable for Latinos, I find it necessary to reflect on how I’ve come to be here today. As an undergraduate student in teacher education, I soon discovered that I not only wanted to be an educator, but I wanted to serve a specific population of students – Latino students – that I felt were being mistreated by an education system that did not value our unique needs and contributions. I became that idealistic teacher who would make a difference for Latino students everywhere!
After five years in the classroom, I decided the impact I was making in the classroom wasn’t enough. Armed with a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy studies, I became fascinated with college access issues and the education pipeline. As I began my doctoral studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, I was directed to many different resources, had fascinating conversations, reflected on my own experience, read inspiring articles and eventually chose a research area around a topic that continues to inspire me, even after finishing my degree. My research focuses on examining the experiences of Latino/a teachers as they progress through the teacher pipeline (the education pipeline that leads to a career in teaching). Having Latino/a role models at all points of the educational spectrum inspires students, like me, to pursue dreams we don’t even know we have.
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