LaToya Samuel – DiversityJobs Scholarship Finalist for August 2012

There is nothing more rewarding than witnessing children gain a love for learning.  The ability to teach young ones and instill values and lessons that will make them fully capable to handle the challenges of the real world is a rewarding accomplishment for any educator.  Educators make a difference by inspiring students and helping them unlock their own dreams to make them a reality.  Teaching will allow me to express my creativity and autonomy each day.  I hope to become one of those dedicated teachers that I reflect on when I was in school.  I have has a few teachers who taught me valuable life lessons that have made me a hard-working person today.

My greatest inspiration for becoming a teacher is my mother.  She has been an educator for more than 30 years, first as an emotional-behavior disorder (EBD) teacher and currently as a Kindergarten Early Intervention Program (EIP) teacher.  I have seen her nurture her students and set higher standards for them than they had for themselves.  Despite normal classroom struggles and complications that emerged, at the end of the each school year my mother noticed their academic and social growth.  She once told me that it was amazing to observe where students began at the onset of the school year compared to how far they advanced towards the end.  That progress brings her fulfillment and keeps her excited and optimistic about the next crop of students she hopes to instill the love of learning.

After graduating high school, I had a hard time getting my life on track.  Although I enrolled in college, I dropped out a year into my program after my relationship with my parents deteriorated.  We had a hard time seeing eye to eye on the direction of my life and ended up in serious emotional and financial distress.  I moved out of their household and six months later, I found myself pregnant and alone.  I reached a point where I wanted to give up and lost all faith in myself.  However, by asking God to give me that strength I needed to push forward, I reconciled with my family and began to make healthy choices.  I was able to secure a paraprofessional position with my mother’s school district and gain a true passion for teaching.  Now, there is nothing more I desire than to graduate with my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Elementary Education.  I have one year left in fulfilling the first part of my goal.

As a future educator, my dream is to instill in my students a love for learning so they will strive to become lifelong learners.  I have a passion for teaching and I love working with students in hopes that they gain a passion for learning.  My goal as a future educator is to offer the best opportunity available to ensure that my students enjoy learning and become productive members of society.’s scholarship program for diversity and minority students is proud to announce LaToya Samuel as one of the seven finalists for its August 2012 application deadline.  Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.