Austin Price / The Texas Tribune
For Hannah Nguyen, an aspiring teacher who will soon start her freshman year at UT Austin, being named a Charles Butt Scholar is an early indicator that she is on the right career path.
“Receiving this scholarship shows me that I do have the potential to be an influential educator, and I am ready to take advantage of every opportunity I will be given to grow and gain the proper experiences and tools to be successful and make a difference in the world of education,” says Nguyen, a graduate of Austin’s McNeil High School.
Nguyen is one of more than 300 applicants who underwent a rigorous application process for the initiative, which offers recipients $8,000 a year for up to four years.
The process included a first round of applications and interviews, and a finalist round consisting of panel interviews, group activities, and a demonstration teaching lesson.
“We are so impressed with this first cohort of scholars. They represent the diversity of our college and the caliber of teachers that we graduate,” says Beth Maloch, associate dean for teacher education, student affairs, and administration at UT Austin.
The Charles Butt Scholarships for Aspiring Teachers is part of the $50 million Raising Texas Teachers initiative sponsored by the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation.
Not only do the scholars receive funds, all of them also will receive professional support throughout their college career through mentorship from a local educator or principal, participation in the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation network, and attendance at the organization’s events.
That level of support is even more meaningful to a student from out of state. Gabriela Coelho, from Oxford, Ohio, will be a junior this fall. She is looking forward to additional help building her network in Texas.
“This scholarship will offer me an incredible support system in Texas through the mentorship program with local educators. I'm excited to learn from individuals that have immense knowledge to share,” she says.
Coelho adds, “I know that the resources the Charles Butt Scholarship offers me will provide me with a supportive cohort of young teachers and mentors who will push me to be the best teacher I can be. I'm excited to grow as a teacher and an individual through this scholarship.”
“Preparing the next generation of teachers includes attracting those candidates most committed to diverse teaching and learning spaces. Supporting them in the development of their understandings and practices is our priority,” says Cinthia Salinas, chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.
In addition to Nguyen and Coelho, the College of Education looks forward to welcoming Javier Abrego, Katherine Allison, Nohemi Cepeda, Brianna Flores, Meghan French, Lorena Gantiva, Bailey Glenn, Uriel Iglesias, Cristina Puente, Carson Robertson, Mia Trautz and Rebecca Watson.
UT Austin is one of 10 university partners in the state selected by Raising Texas Teachers to receive funds for the scholarships to help recruit more bright, promising students to pursue teaching as a career.
One hundred total scholarships were awarded in the inaugural year. The program will grow to include 500 teaching scholars annually.