It took a few years out of high school for Maria Estrada to find her passion. But now that she’s found it, she is ready to go to the next level.
The 2015 Marshalltown High School graduate and 2017 Marshalltown Community College graduate is now set to attend Buena Vista University locally to study elementary education. She discovered her love of helping students learn through her work as a teaching assistant at Bobcat Academy.
“That’s how I found out I want to be a teacher,” Estrada said. “I enjoy seeing kids learn about new things and how their mind works.”
Estrada credits the Marshalltown Education Partnership (MEP), which is a program that provides MCC tuition to Marshalltown students after years of mentorship and other guidance.
“MEP really helped me open new doors,” Estrada said.
That next door is leading her to two years at the BVU satellite campus in Marshalltown with both classroom and online coursework while she is still employed full time at Bobcat Academy. Bobcat Academy has provided her a scholarship as well.
“It is truly a joy to have Maria as part of our Bobcat Academy staff,” said Bobcat Academy Director Amber Young. “She is not only reliable and professional, but is also kind and positive with everyone she encounters. Kids light up when they see her and the wealth of positives her colleagues have to say about her speak volumes to her character and work ethic.”
She hopes to one day give back to Marshalltown Schools by teaching the next generation of students.
“I’ve lived in Marshalltown my whole life and with all the teachers I’ve had here I would like to give that back to the community,” Estrada said. “I would love to teach here.”