David Flores and Ricardo Quezada have been named the nominees from the Teacher Education Program at UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School for the 2013 Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowship for Aspiring Teachers of Color (WW-RBF). Flores is a History major with a minor in Education from Pasadena. “I am striving to teach high school social science and mentor at-risk youth in urban communities,” Flores says. “I also plan on coaching youth soccer.” Quezada is a History of Public Policy major and Education minor, writing a senior honors thesis this year. “I am very passionate about empowering my community by serving as a visible role model,” Quezada says. “It only takes one person to make a difference in a student's life and I want to be that difference.”
UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School is one of only 29 campuses across the country chosen to nominate students; in both the first two years of the awards, all Gevirtz School nominees were ultimately chosen for the honor.
The goal of the WW-RBF Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color is to help recruit, support, and retain individuals of color as K-12 public school teachers in the United States. Current trends indicate that by the year 2020, the percentage of teachers of color will fall to an all-time low of five percent of the total teacher force, while the percentage of students of color in the K-12 system will likely near 50%. This Fellowship offers an important opportunity to ensure that greater numbers of highly qualified teachers of color enter public school classrooms around the country.
Candidates must be nominated by their undergraduate institution in order to be considered for this fellowship program. Each nominating institution is allowed to nominate two candidates for the fellowship. Interested applicants must meet all requirements and campus application deadlines in order to be nominated and move forward in the application process. Acceptance into the Fellowship program is contingent on acceptance into a partner graduate program (such as UCSB). The Woodrow Wilson Foundation expects to award 12 WW-RBF Fellowships in the amount of $30,000 annually.