Celina Cerny and Billie Xayaphone, two credential candidates in the Gevirtz School Teacher Education Program, have been selected to be the recipients of the William and Charlene Glikbarg Foundation Fellowships for 2009-10.
The primary mission of the William and Charlene Glikbarg Foundation is to help others, especially those with low income. The Foundation is committed to the belief that our system of government can only survive if people with low income have a realistic hope that they can improve their economic status. One of the foci of the Foundation is education. Fellowship recipients made clear their interest to pursue teaching in a low-income, ethnically diverse community where students may not complete their high school GED and/or are not historically college-bound, and where dedicated teaching can positively affect the future for disadvantaged students.
Celina Cerny is a candidate for an elementary education teaching credential. “Cerny’s commitment and passion to serve low-income and disadvantaged students stems from her own upbringing and childhood memories,” writes one of the selection committee members. “She not only grew up as a disadvantaged student because her family was low income, but also because she was raised in an abusive home. Her personal experiences and the way she was able to overcome her personal obstacles can serve as a source of hope and inspiration for many children. Through her words I can sense her passion for serving the students who unfortunately have to share a similar childhood as hers.”
Billie Xayaphone is also a candidate for an elementary education teaching credential. “Billie’s family story of fleeing a refugee camp and coming to the states will allow Billie to connect to the community [Oxnard] she aspires to serves because this community is heavily populated with immigrants from many parts of the world,” a committee member wrote. “As an immigrant child, Billie automatically became a disadvantaged students and her situation was not helped by the lack of resources her community had to offer him. Billie didn’t allow her surroundings to define who she was or what she would accomplish in life. Billie is a great example for many students and she has a long history of serving as a leader and using her experiences to motivate others.”
[Celina Cerny and Billie Xayaphone are available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
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