With a passion for helping at-risk youth, multiple-credential student Andrea Cortez dreams of leading a class where she can teach children with language barriers and learning disabilities.
She is completing her clinical practice in the Ontario-Montclair School District and has a second job as an after-school program teacher and student assistant in Cal Poly Pomona’s liberal studies department.
Cortez applied for and received the Partners in Education (PIE) fellowship, which will help her to fully immerse herself in her student teaching. “If it were not for the PIE fellowship, I would not have been able to continue my education and earn my credential,” Cortez said.
This was just one example of the impact the PIE fellowship has made on future teachers at Cal Poly Pomona.
At the 10th annual Sponsor a Teacher Fellowship Awards Dinner held on Feb. 25 at the Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch, 15 students were awarded up to $5,000 each.
During the ceremony, PIE chair Sue Johnson gave encouragement to the fellows. “As you work with students daily, remember that it is the legacies of all those who have come before you that you’ll build on, and help to build dreams for those who follow,” Johnson said.
The other PIE fellowship recipients are Cara Borchardt, Joon Boum Park, Shayla Came, Cynthia Cruz, Eric Cuevas, Stephanie Fujii, Courtney Good, Lizbeth Hernandez, Arely Herrera, Evelyn Leon Aceves, Angelica Parra, Mariel Santos, Jazmine Silver and Theresa Taing.
The PIE fellowship provides financial assistance during the clinical practice phase of the credential program. The fellowship also assigns ambassadors, which consist of alumni, faculty and educators, to each student, which mentor the fellows throughout their teaching career.
Four of the fellowships were made possible by the Felzer family, PIE’s sponsor of distinction. The family has sponsored 20 fellowships over a five-year period in honor of the late Alan Felzer, professor emeritus of electrical and computer engineering. The remaining fellowships are provided through the fundraising efforts of the PIE board.
PIE is a group of Cal Poly Pomona community members who are committed to supporting excellence in the preparation of future teachers. Since 2007, PIE has aided 128 teacher candidates.