Paying it Forward - 2010 Profiles

Laura Velazquez

Alumni - Hopkins, Minnesota
Laura has been fortunate to be able to combine her love of children, languages and travel into a career as an educator working overseas. She earned a bachelor’s degree in bilingual education, taught elementary school in California and started a family along the way. Later, her interest in languages and culture led to a job offer in Japan. The demands of a career and parenting, and the thrill of exploring a new country left little time to pursue her dream of earning a master’s degree in education. However, a University of Phoenix presentation at a faculty meeting offered new possibilities. “The University was seeking candidates for a new graduate program in Curriculum Instruction and Design. The program offered everything I had been waiting for: on-ground courses conveniently located on Kadena Air Base; a small, yet diverse, cohort of educators from surrounding schools; flexible class meetings; accommodating [instructors] and helpful support staff.” Laura ended up completing her degree while stationed overseas and she is the first in her family to have a master’s. She now teaches Spanish as part of the Foreign Language in the Elementary Schools (FLES) program and would like to pay forward her education to her daughter Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Velazquez

Recipient - Dyess AFB, Texas
Elizabeth is ready to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Unsure of her educational goals upon graduation from high school, she took a few college courses and worked full-time at the childcare center on Kadena Air Force Base. Since then, she has married, had two children and maintained her full time teaching position while balancing the demands of a military lifestyle. “Elizabeth is deserving of a Paying it Forward® scholarship for several reasons. She is a delightful young woman whose vibrant personality and positive energy leave lasting impressions upon those around her. She is also a loving wife and mother who maintains close ties to family and friends. On the job, she is highly respected by co-workers, parents and supervisors, and loved by her students.” Now at the age of 23 with years of work under her belt, she is certain about her educational goals – she just needs the financial assistance to get there. Elizabeth will now proudly earn her bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

Alumni Nominator and Recipient Profiles

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