Legacy Scholarship Volunteer Hours Helped MC Grad Find Her CallingAugust 26, 2019

The image to use for this article. Listing image managed through RSS tab. Maricela Guzman

Maricela Guzman found herself in the situation every college student fears: she entered Midland College (MC) as a business administration major; however, after taking only a few business classes, she started receiving mediocre grades and realized she was bored.

“Business was just not for me,” Guzman said.

Guzman received the Legacy Scholarship, which covers tuition and fees up to $1,050 for fall and spring terms renewable for a total of two years. All Legacy scholars complete 40 hours of community service each year for the award. Guzman completed her volunteer hours at a Midland school and thought she might like teaching. Turns out, her second choice major was the charm.

“When I volunteered for my Legacy Scholarship hours, I graded kids’ assignments and read to them,” Guzman said. “That experience is when I started enjoying teaching. So my then-advisor and Students in Philanthropy coordinator Julia Vickery helped me get into Education 1301, and I knew instantly I liked teaching. As soon as I started taking education classes my grades went up as well.”

“Maricela’s impact on the future of our children under her care is assured,” Vickery, now vice president of Student Services said. “As she moved through her academics and philanthropic requirements at MC, I saw the characteristics of passion, service, dedication and kindness personified in her actions. I was thrilled when she found her calling to teach. I thought then, as I think now, how lucky her students will be!”

Education 1301, Introduction to Teaching, allows MC students to dive right into teaching. It includes 16 hours of field experience in a Midland Independent School District classroom.

“I took Education 1301 with Denise McKown,” Guzman said. “I still remember my first assignment: teaching second grade at Pease Communications & Technology Academy with Miss Dominguez. I still keep in contact with her to this day. I had a bag full of lessons, and it was my job to study the plans and teach the students.”

“Maricela has been passionate about children and learning from day one in my class,” McKown said. “She jumped right in and has capitalized on every opportunity she had for hands-on learning in her field observations. Her ability to relate to children and make learning fun for them will be an asset for the students, campus and district.”

Guzman received an Associate of Arts in Teaching degree from MC in May 2017. She stayed an extra semester because it was more economical to continue taking transferable classes at MC, rather than at a university.  She then transferred to the University of Texas Permian Basin (UTPB). With all her MC credits, she only had to take three semesters at UTPB. Guzman graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Multidisciplinary Studies in May 2019.

“Coming to MC was the best decision; I saved so much money,” Guzman said. “I did not have to take out students loans. I am debt free now. I am ready to start my life. I am also glad I came somewhere small like MC to start because I was able to create close relationships with my professors. Professor McKown has been there since my first education class, and she has helped me through passing my certification exams when I was no longer technically a student of hers. We have each other’s cell phone numbers.  If I ever had any questions while I was studying, I just sent her a text, and she responded immediately. I would not be where I am today without her and Julia Vickery’s guidance.”

Guzman is now teaching fourth grade math at Bowie Fine Arts Academy.

“I know from my student teaching days that education is the most rewarding job,” Guzman said. “There is a certain sense of accomplishment and excitement when you see a light bulb go off in a student’s mind, and they finally understand a concept you taught them. Teaching is a hard job, but it is so worth it.”

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