Project TEACH, an incentive scholarship program at Hope College whose primary objective is increasing the number of persons of color in the teaching profession, has chosen an 11th group of participating high school students.
A total of three students, all of whom are sophomores at Holland High School, have joined the program this fall: Alejandra Bobadilla, Vannessa Delgado and Ryan Martinez. They will be recognized during a reception at the college's Maas Center auditorium on Thursday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
Project TEACH (Teachers Entering a Career Through Hope) provides mentoring and instructional support for the high schoolers, who begin as sophomores or juniors. The program also provides scholarship aid for the participants as Hope students. The program's goal is to help local students while increasing the number of minorities who become teachers locally.
"Each chosen student brings enthusiasm, commitment and a shared vision of a new future for themselves and for the students they will influence in the future," said Barbara Albers, director of Project TEACH. "I look forward to the day when they graduate from Hope and start to fulfill their dream of becoming effective, dedicated teachers who are significant, positive role models for all students and who significantly make a difference in our community."
"I am also very pleased to see 14 of our Project TEACH students on the Hope campus now," she said. "Four freshman recently joined this year's freshman class and we will have our fifth class of Hope graduates this spring. Two more Project TEACH students will become Hope alumni and join the teaching profession."
Bobadilla is interested in teaching fifth or eighth grade, inspired by outstanding teachers of her own. "I've always wanted to be a teacher since I was little," she said. "I liked how my teachers helped me."
Her activities have included the Student Council and soccer at Holland High, and the Hope College Upward Bound program. She is also a member of Ballet Folklorico Sol Azteca De Humberto Hernandez. She is the daughter of Jose and Carmen Bobadilla of Holland.
Delgado is interested in teaching elementary-age children, but hasn't ruled out teaching at the high school or eventually college level either. "I like to be around children, teaching them, seeing how they improve," she said.
Her activities have included Hope College Upward Bound and competing in track and field at high school, in addition to volunteering with the Center for Women in Transition and Community Action House. She also serves on the Holland Youth Advisory Council. She is the daughter of Raul and Julieta Delgado of Holland.
Martinez is interested in teaching eighth-grade or high school mathematics, a subject he enjoys. "Everybody seems to struggle in math," he said. "I think it'd be nice to teach other people not to hate it so much."
He has competed in tennis and is interested in running cross country. His volunteer activities have included tutoring mathematics and assisting neighbors with care and yard needs. He is the son of Wally and Mary Martinez of Holland.
A total of 37 students from Holland High School or West Ottawa High School have participated in Project TEACH since the program began in 1996, including eight who have since graduated from Hope.
In addition to this year's new students, the program's current participants are: Monica Arismendez, a senior at West Ottawa High School; Sashy Caamal, a senior at Holland High School; Justine Campos, a senior at Hope; Nydia Chavarria, a junior at Holland High School; Tiffani Delaney, a junior at Hope; Joanie Kasten, a freshman at Hope; Tiffany Khousakoun, a freshman at Hope; Leonardo Martinez, a senior at West Ottawa High School; Monica Martinez, a sophomore at Hope; Yadira Martinez, a senior at Hope; Marcella Mascorro, a senior at West Ottawa High School; Tung Nguyen, a junior at Hope; Jessica Nykamp-Schwander, a junior at Hope; Esperanza Rodriguez, a freshman at Hope; Diego Romero, a sophomore at Hope; Wanda Turner, a sophomore at Hope; Jessica Urivez, a freshman at Hope; Victoria Vicencio, a sophomore at Hope; and Antoine Williams, a senior at Hope.
The program's eight graduates are: Meyly Sew and Sonia Soto, who are members of the Class of 2003; Kristina Kyles Houston, Kristina Martinez Gould and Dina Vathanaphone Price, who are members of the Class of 2004; Dinah Rios and Pannha Sann, who are members of the Class of 2005; and Kristine Brandt, a member of the Class of 2006.
The Maas Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.