Cecilia Santiago Weight who completed her Single-Subject Credential in Mathematics in May 2020, was selected as one of thirty students statewide by the California Retired Teachers Association’s Laura E. Settle Scholarship Foundation to receive a scholarship award. 

 “I feel very humbled and feel that I am on the right path to help students, young and old reach their highest potential. This scholarship has allowed me to pay for my education and be able to focus on the classes.  It helped me reach my goal of receiving my single subject credential in math.” Santiago Weight shared.  

Cecilia’s inspiration to pursue teaching was her mother, Mathematics Lecturer at CSUCI, Mamerta Santiago.  “When my mother came to the US, she worked very hard to take the necessary exams to be a teacher here!  Her first job was teaching at Channel Islands High School bilingual Math!  She went on to get her Master's degree and has been teaching at Oxnard College for the last thirty years in the Math department as well as here at CSUCI for the past six years. She has changed students' lives.  She loves her students and is passionate about the ability individuals have to make changes in their lives, and sometimes they need a little more help.  She has always provided that for her students.” Santiago Weight believes that teaching will provide her with the ability to meet students where they are and support them to move forward on their individual journeys with tools that will help them be successful. She feels that teaching will afford her with the opportunity to help individuals be their very best selves. Cecilia shared” I love watching individuals learn how to use what they have to empower themselves and grow!”

Faculty members in the School of Education took note of Cecilia’s passion for teaching during her time in the credential program. Dr. Kara Naidoo, Assistant Professor of Secondary Education shared her positive experiences with Cecilia (CeeCee), “Immediately after meeting CeeCee on the first day of class I could feel her passion for teaching math, her deep admiration for students and her desire for helping youth that might otherwise be marginalized, especially in a math classroom. CeeCee's extensive experience as a basketball coach, counselor, and special education teacher seem to bolster relationships with students and peers which sets a foundation for student success in her classroom. I admire CeeCee's willingness to critically reflect on and adjust her practice as needed to best support student learning."

The Laura E. Settle Foundation was established in the early 1950s in memory of the California Retired Teachers Association’s (CalRTA) primary founder and first president. Settle, a retired Pasadena teacher, oversaw the creation of CalRTA in 1929 and established its reputation as the primary protector of teachers’ pensions. Scholarships in her name are awarded annually to 30 promising future teachers from CSU and UC campuses.

For more information on CI’s School of Education, visit http://education.csuci.edu/. To learn more about the CalRTA Laura E. Settle Scholarship, visit https://calrta.org/scholarships/

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