Howard County Public School System and McDaniel College Announce Teachers for Tomorrow Scholarship Recipients
Posted: May 4th, 2016
The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) and McDaniel College announce the inaugural class of 11 Howard County students to receive the Teachers for Tomorrow (T4T) scholarships.
Believed to be the first program of its kind in the nation, this innovative program provides full scholarships, including tuition, room and board, for a select group of Howard County students to attend McDaniel, with a commitment to work for HCPSS for three years immediately following college graduation.
T4T was developed to increase the diversity among the school system’s teachers and the overall workforce, while providing college access to academically talented students with limited resources.
“We need our best and brightest students to teach and work in our school system, and we must remove financial means as a barrier to their success,” said HCPSS Superintendent Renee Foose. “The T4T scholarship program is one step in a long-term commitment to increase the diversity of our workforce and create opportunities for all students to pursue their dreams.”
To fill the first cohort, HCPSS targeted academically successful, low-income students who qualify for the Free and Reduced Price Meals Program. A total of 40 students applied and were admitted to McDaniel College. Finalists were then chosen from the T4T applicant pool and nearly 20 participated in scholarship interviews in late March 2016. Recipients were notified in April and the students had until May 1, the National Candidates Reply date, to accept the offer for admission.
The students chosen will each receive a scholarship equivalent to McDaniel tuition, room and board, which includes a donation of $12,000 funded by the T4T program, with McDaniel covering the remaining costs after state and federal grants are applied. The Kahlert Foundation has also pledged $230,000 to support T4T over the next four years.
“McDaniel is proud to partner with Howard County on the T4T program, and we are grateful to The Kahlert Foundation as the first private funders to pledge their support of T4T,” said McDaniel President Roger N. Casey. “I can’t wait to see what the first Teachers for Tomorrow Scholarship recipients achieve at McDaniel. They exemplify the best of what America is searching for in its future teacher workforce.”
The T4T students are permitted to pursue any course of study they choose, as long as they minor in education and serve as a student teacher. Participants are required to maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 in the major and graduate within four years.
The 11 students who make up the inaugural T4T class include six males and five females from six Howard County high schools. They are members of honor societies, athletes, actors and musicians, and are involved, as well as hold leadership positions, in a variety of student clubs. The students also work and volunteer in their communities. They have grade point averages ranging from 3.0 to 4.71. Several were born outside of the United States. More than half of the students are among the first generation in their families to attend college.
According to one student, “Anyone can make it no matter where they came from. I am determined to make myself a role model for students like me.”
About the T4T Scholarship Recipients
Nicolette Brookman (Hammond High School) is an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and member of the Student Leadership Cadre. She is the editor-in-chief of The Bear Press, Hammond’s student newspaper, is involved with the Hammond Theatre department and as historian of the Spanish Club. She is also a member of the Spanish National Honor Society, National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society. She earned a varsity letter as a member of the varsity golf team for two years.
Philip Bonsu (Wilde Lake High School) is the captain of the school varsity soccer team and coaches youth soccer for his church. He is also active in track, involved in the International Afterschool Club and a member of Alpha Achievers, a club that encourages excellence among minority students. He writes letters to, and assembles care packages for, military-service members. He was born in Kumasi, Ghana.
Dorothee Cadet (Long Reach High School) was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and speaks Haitian and German in addition to English. For the past two years, she has been active in Delta Scholars, an organization focused on the academic advancement of minority, female students. She has been awarded certificates of academic achievement from the National Arts Honor Society and the Columbia Alumnae Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and a certificate of achievement from the German National Honor Society. Cadet has also received a Black Achievement Award from The Council of Elders of the Black Community of Howard County.
Lucero Espinal (Oakland Mills High School) is president of both her senior class and the Oakland Mills chapter of the National Arts Honor Society. She is also a leader in the Math, Engineering, Science Achievement Club and a dance assistant. She speaks English, Spanish and French, and mentors youth learning to speak English, as well as Hispanic students interested in pursuing a college degree. In addition, she aids her community by serving as a translator for both the Howard County Social Services and MultiService Center.
Ricardo Loyola (Reservoir High School) is a member of the cross-country, and track and field teams. He also plays the trombone in the school concert, symphonic and marching bands. He created the Laurel Wood Chess Club, an organization that teaches elementary school students to play chess, and is an active member of Gators Latinos, a club that encourages academic achievement in Hispanic students.
Austin Metzler (Howard High School) excels in math and photography. He believes in giving back to his community and helping other students understand the importance of hard work and determination. He is the first member of his family to attend college and is looking forward to returning to Howard County Public Schools to give back to the district that gave him his education.
Irma Murhutta (Reservoir High School) plays girls lacrosse for Reservoir and was instrumental at the Karl Wolf Memorial lacrosse tournament and the varsity playoffs. She is class secretary and involved with the Culture Club and the It’s Academic trivia team. She is also a member of the National Art Honor Society and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In addition to English, she speaks Italian and Urdu.
Kevin Rockwell (Oakland Mills High School) has been involved with the concert choir throughout his four years at Oakland Mills. A member of the football team, he has played center, guard, tackle and defensive tackle positions. He has also wrestled, winning state and regional competitions.
Kory Williams (Reservoir High School) has won both indoor and outdoor county and regional championships as a sprinter and hurdler on the track and field team. He works as an assistant coach for the Howard County Recreation and Parks department where he teaches sports fundamentals to youth while promoting fun and exercise.
Daniela Yacobucci Lapaitis (Wilde Lake High School) was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and speaks both English and Spanish. A member of the National Thespian Society, she has been a member of both the technical crew and the ensemble for school productions. She also participates in Hispanic Voices. She is involved in the International Club and National Honor Society, and is historian for the Art Honor Society.
Moises Zelaya Caceres (Reservoir High School) has played on the Reservoir football team for three years and has been named an honor roll athlete two of those years. Active in DECA, an international marketing association for students, he was the 2015 state champion for the State Career Development competition in the entrepreneur category. He is also active with the Boy Scouts as a patrol leader. He was born in San Miguel, El Salvador, and speaks both English and Spanish.
- An overview of the T4T program is available online at http://hcpssne.ws/TeachersForTomorrow.
- To find admissions information regarding McDaniel College, visit http://www.mcdaniel.edu/undergraduate/admissions.
- Nationwide, 40 percent of public school students are from minority groups compared to only 17 percent of teachers, according to a 2011 report from the Center for American Progress.
- A 2015 report by the Albert Shanker Institute indicates that the number of black teachers dropped between 2002 and 2012 in nine cities, including Boston, New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
- A recent report by HCPSS found that from 2007 to 2013, students who received free or reduced lunch within the school district were 20 percent less likely to attend college than other graduates.
John White, HCPSS
Cheryl Knauer, McDaniel College