Sofia Carrillo is a first-generation graduate student in the Teacher Education Program, pursuing the Education Specialist Credential with focus on Extensive Support Needs and a Masters of Education. She received her BA in Liberal Studies, Teaching and Learning Emphasis, from CSU Channel Islands in 2020. Born and raised in Santa Barbara County, specifically Lompoc, Sofia found her passion for teaching while working as a teacher assistant in Latino populated schools. She hopes to become a teacher who is culturally relevant, because being a woman of color herself she understands that all people can attain success regardless of ethnicity, race, or gender, and that is the same attitude she wants to instill in her students and their families. Sofia aims to make students with special needs feel valued, empowered, and supported, so that they can live the most fulfilling lives possible.
GGSE: What are you most looking forward to this coming school year?
Carrillo: This coming school year I am very excited to start student teaching. I have worked in classrooms before, but I am eager to be more hands-on this time and take on more responsibility as I practice what it will be like when I am the teacher.
GGSE: Tell me about your experience as a teacher assistant. How did it help you grow as a teacher?
Carrillo: I have worked as a teacher assistant in the past in a mild to moderate classroom as well as in a moderate to severe classroom. Both were at the elementary level, and I loved the work. I actually got those jobs before I even knew that this was the route I wanted to take in my career, but after helping out in those classrooms, I felt I had found my calling. The work feels like work worth doing, and the students are so funny and great to work with.
GGSE: If you could change one thing about the world, what would you change?
Carrillo: There are so many things I wish I could change, but I suppose my mind goes first to helping low income families. I grew up as a low income student myself, so I understand the struggles that many families face. I understand the struggles of lacking school supplies, new clothes, and eating usually only when at school. It is something I would never wish on anyone, but it is a reality that too many students face. I wish the world were different in that we could do more to help and have more assistance for these families. Or make poverty disappear altogether.
GGSE: If you had a time machine, when would you go?
Carrillo: I would love to go back to the 1940s in Mexico so that I can meet Frida Kahlo. I love her art, and I love the way she carried herself and the poetry she wrote. I would have really enjoyed meeting her, but overall the past has been very messy, and we have come a long way since then, so perhaps I would like to travel to the future and see how science has evolved and what new technology has come out.