At the 2016-2017 Master of Arts in Teaching Recognition Ceremony, Erika Rojas was awarded a Mary Roosevelt Honor Scholarship in Teaching and Learning for excellence in academics, demonstrated leadership skills, and dedication to improving the lives and educational opportunities of students. Erika is pursuing her MAT with a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Mathematics. Below, she shares her thoughts about her educational journey and her chosen career.
I grew up in Southern California and have mostly resided in Orange County. I graduated from California State University, Fullerton, with my Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and joined the workforce in the medical device field. Later, I went on to work for an equity firm also focused on medical devices and aesthetics.
From an early age I was very interested in teaching and found that I flourished most in settings where I could train and develop people's learning. Soon after joining the last firm I worked at, I realized that teaching was the right path for me based on all my interests and experiences in that setting, and I began to research teaching programs in the Orange County area. Once I learned about UCI's program, it became the most obvious choice for me due to the professors in the program, the investment in time, and the good reputation UCI's MAT program had, based on information I received from candidates in the past.
I am pursuing education because I want to help my students develop new ways of thinking and show them all the possibilities they have available to them. I want them to understand that they can attain all the things they dream of, and that they can pursue any vocation they want to explore, without feeling limited by any prior misconception. My pursuit of education is a result of meeting many people from all over the world and learning so much about them and their journeys which I feel is important to pass on to our future generations. I want to make sure every student in my classroom feels capable of fulfilling their goals since so many people before them have incredible stories about how they persevered and attained all of their goals -- the possibilities are limitless! My goals are to engage with as many of my peers as I can so we can learn from each other and help each other reach new milestones as a team. My vision for my future in education is open, as I am here to help develop curriculums and am eager to start applying methods of teaching that can positively impact student learning and lives.
Mary Roosevelt and Erika Rojas