Scholarship Recipients

Erin This spring Erin started a graduate program at George Washington University, and plans to get her master's degree in Special Education and English Language Learner with pertinent teaching certifications. This fall she'll return to her role as an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher, her 8th year of teaching.

Erin attended William and Mary College, with the goal of becoming a teacher "so I can surround myself with what I love." She graduated in May 2010, after a stellar college career, and completed a two-year Teach For American experience with kindergartners in Virginia Beach.

Erin, from the rural town of Prince George, Virginia, is described as "hard working, dedicated, and enthusiastic; a person of extraordinary character who brings a positive attitude to everything she does." Despite commuting more than two hours daily and taking numerous AP courses, she maintained a stellar grade point average at the rigorous Maggie L. Walker Governor's School. Teachers' recommendations tell of her contribution to classes, her sharp mind, her commitment to excellence, and perhaps most impressive, her unique ability to really "listen" despite her bilateral hearing loss.

Her hearing loss was first discovered when she was four, but by then she had already taught herself to read lips. She says that frustration because of "an inability to communicate" made her a creative problem solver to determine the most effective ways to communicate in various settings.

Among her extracurricular activities, she spent a summer in Asia teaching English to high school students there. In addition, she personally reworked the entire English curriculum used by her peers, helped raise money to fund their trip, and ran evaluation sessions.