|Physics (teacher education) | Gardiner, NY|
Maria Gonzalez enjoys a good challenge. Bilingual in Spanish and English, Maria was excited about the opportunity to travel to South Korea with her fellow MLK scholars, where she knew nothing of the language. “I wanted to be in that situation where I couldn’t get around [the language barrier]. It was a completely different culture from anything I ever been in contact with before.”
That kind of courage and initiative has helped Maria excel at Ithaca College and within the MLK Scholar Program. “I can definitely say the scholars in the program have challenged me intellectually,” says Maria, who plans to channel what she’s learned from her fellow scholars, seminars, and social justice projects into a future career as a physics teacher.
Issues of discrimination and social inequality often stem from a lack of education, “so I want to focus on better education for all children, not just the lucky, the privileged, or the fortunate," says Maria. This passion for teaching has carried over into her volunteer work at Ithaca’s Sciencenter, tutoring at Beverly J. Martin Elementary, and her post-graduation plans to join the Teach for America program.
“A lot needs to be done to achieve equality in all senses," Maria continues. "Being an MLK scholar has definitely shaped what I want to do in the future, and the path that I want to lead now.”