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Amber Trujillo

Amber Trujillo knew that she wanted to study at TC, and for that reason, it was the only graduate school to which she applied. Although she had never traveled to New York City-much less visited the College-Amber was certain that the program in bilingual education would be the ideal fit for her interests. After being accepted into the Master's program, she had to contend with the logistics of bringing her dream to fruition. "It was sort of in my hands to make this happen," she says.

Amber Trujillo knew that she wanted to study at TC, and for that reason, it was the only graduate school to which she applied.  Although she had never traveled to New York City-much less visited the College-Amber was certain that the program in bilingual education would be the ideal fit for her interests.  After being accepted into the Master's program, she had to contend with the logistics of bringing her dream to fruition.  "It was sort of in my hands to make this happen," she says.

As an undergraduate at Lake Forest College in Illinois, Amber decided to continue the four years of Spanish coursework that she had taken in high school.  Although she did not intend to major in the subject, she realized during her junior year that she had enough credits to earn degrees in both Spanish and psychology.  Amber's career aspiration was to become a child psychologist, but a study abroad program in Chile sparked her interest in the "melding of linguistics and bilingual education," particularly because she "wanted to do something important in my community."  She returned to South America the following summer and lived in Chile and Venezuela.  Amber applied to the College because it is one of the few schools of education with a program in bilingual education, particularly one that includes a teacher preparatory component.  Although she was accepted to TC during her senior year, she opted to defer until Fall 2004 to map out a strategy for financing graduate studies.  After graduating from Lake Forest, Amber departed for South America to teach business English to adults.

Amber and her-then fiancĂ© visited the campus in June 2003 and she says that they both "fell in love with New York City.  We just knew this is where we had to be."  While they were here, she happened to pick up the May 2003 edition of Inside TC.  She came across an article about the Carroll and Milton Petrie Fellowship program which, beginning the following year, would provide scholarships for TC students committed to becoming K-12 teachers in the City.  "Had I not found that article, I would never have known [about the program]," she says.  An application process had yet to be established because the program had just been announced, but Amber began communicating via e-mail with Claudette Reid, the Project Coordinator of the College's Schools of Education Research Project.  Individuals seeking admission for 2004-05 were later invited to include additional documents in their applications to be eligible for the scholarship, but Amber, who had deferred her Fall 2003 acceptance, had to mail her materials from Chile as a standalone application. 

In Summer 2004, Amber was preparing for the new school year at her family's home in New Hampshire when she received a phone call from the College.  After incredibly tenacious efforts that had included securing a translator to communicate with Amber's Spanish-speaking in-laws to determine her whereabouts, Claudette Reid had traced her to New England to inform her that she would enter the College as a Petrie Fellow.  This honor provides a $50,000 scholarship in exchange for a five-year commitment to teaching in New York.  Amber calls this award "a blessing," and is excited about the chance to work in City schools.

Amber will be certified to teach grades K-6 with a focus on dual language schools upon completing her program.  Although she is adjusting to life as a student, newcomer to New York, and newlywed, she says, "The classes are wonderful, and the professors are extremely knowledgeable.  They're the founders of the whole bilingual movement, and it's nice to be with them.  It's wonderful to know that this [movement] is where it happens."  She is also engaged in a research project with Professor Evangeline Stefanakis that utilizes digital portfolios as an alternative means for assessing bilingual students at PS 188, most of whom are of either Dominican or Puerto Rican heritage.  As a research assistant, Amber videotapes and edits oral interviews with students and digitally saves their coursework using a scanner so that CDs can be created to demonstrate their progress throughout the academic year.  She will also be facilitating professional development workshops for teachers at the school. 

Like many TC students, Amber believes, she now knows that "as soon as you come here, you can't just be a teacher; you must also be an advocate."  She further adds, "I believe that my [Master's] cohort feels we're responsible for keeping alive this [bilingual education] movement," citing severe educational cuts in this area as a primary reason for their focus.  Amber finds herself "always wanting to read" her class texts because, she says, "I need it for my life and for my career."  Her extraordinary dedication is inspiring, and she even stayed in New York over the Thanksgiving holidays to ensure that she had time to read as much as she could.  Despite making such a sacrifice, and although life for her is new in so many ways, Amber sums up her feelings about being a student at the College with a smile.  "I love it.  I wouldn't have it any other way."

Published Monday, Nov. 29, 2004

Amber Trujillo

Amber Trujillo knew that she wanted to study at TC, and for that reason, it was the only graduate school to which she applied.  Although she had never traveled to New York City-much less visited the College-Amber was certain that the program in bilingual education would be the ideal fit for her interests.  After being accepted into the Master's program, she had to contend with the logistics of bringing her dream to fruition.  "It was sort of in my hands to make this happen," she says.

As an undergraduate at Lake Forest College in Illinois, Amber decided to continue the four years of Spanish coursework that she had taken in high school.  Although she did not intend to major in the subject, she realized during her junior year that she had enough credits to earn degrees in both Spanish and psychology.  Amber's career aspiration was to become a child psychologist, but a study abroad program in Chile sparked her interest in the "melding of linguistics and bilingual education," particularly because she "wanted to do something important in my community."  She returned to South America the following summer and lived in Chile and Venezuela.  Amber applied to the College because it is one of the few schools of education with a program in bilingual education, particularly one that includes a teacher preparatory component.  Although she was accepted to TC during her senior year, she opted to defer until Fall 2004 to map out a strategy for financing graduate studies.  After graduating from Lake Forest, Amber departed for South America to teach business English to adults.

Amber and her-then fiancĂ© visited the campus in June 2003 and she says that they both "fell in love with New York City.  We just knew this is where we had to be."  While they were here, she happened to pick up the May 2003 edition of Inside TC.  She came across an article about the Carroll and Milton Petrie Fellowship program which, beginning the following year, would provide scholarships for TC students committed to becoming K-12 teachers in the City.  "Had I not found that article, I would never have known [about the program]," she says.  An application process had yet to be established because the program had just been announced, but Amber began communicating via e-mail with Claudette Reid, the Project Coordinator of the College's Schools of Education Research Project.  Individuals seeking admission for 2004-05 were later invited to include additional documents in their applications to be eligible for the scholarship, but Amber, who had deferred her Fall 2003 acceptance, had to mail her materials from Chile as a standalone application. 

In Summer 2004, Amber was preparing for the new school year at her family's home in New Hampshire when she received a phone call from the College.  After incredibly tenacious efforts that had included securing a translator to communicate with Amber's Spanish-speaking in-laws to determine her whereabouts, Claudette Reid had traced her to New England to inform her that she would enter the College as a Petrie Fellow.  This honor provides a $50,000 scholarship in exchange for a five-year commitment to teaching in New York.  Amber calls this award "a blessing," and is excited about the chance to work in City schools.

Amber will be certified to teach grades K-6 with a focus on dual language schools upon completing her program.  Although she is adjusting to life as a student, newcomer to New York, and newlywed, she says, "The classes are wonderful, and the professors are extremely knowledgeable.  They're the founders of the whole bilingual movement, and it's nice to be with them.  It's wonderful to know that this [movement] is where it happens."  She is also engaged in a research project with Professor Evangeline Stefanakis that utilizes digital portfolios as an alternative means for assessing bilingual students at PS 188, most of whom are of either Dominican or Puerto Rican heritage.  As a research assistant, Amber videotapes and edits oral interviews with students and digitally saves their coursework using a scanner so that CDs can be created to demonstrate their progress throughout the academic year.  She will also be facilitating professional development workshops for teachers at the school. 

Like many TC students, Amber believes, she now knows that "as soon as you come here, you can't just be a teacher; you must also be an advocate."  She further adds, "I believe that my [Master's] cohort feels we're responsible for keeping alive this [bilingual education] movement," citing severe educational cuts in this area as a primary reason for their focus.  Amber finds herself "always wanting to read" her class texts because, she says, "I need it for my life and for my career."  Her extraordinary dedication is inspiring, and she even stayed in New York over the Thanksgiving holidays to ensure that she had time to read as much as she could.  Despite making such a sacrifice, and although life for her is new in so many ways, Amber sums up her feelings about being a student at the College with a smile.  "I love it.  I wouldn't have it any other way."

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