Meet the 2011 Awardees
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Mayra Mendoza serves as the foundation of her family. Her single mother depends on her to translate and complete paperwork for her house-cleaning service, write checks to pay bills, assist with doctor appointments and help raise her siblings. Mayra’s brother, Danny, has Down’s syndrome, and she has served as his advocate and been an integral part of his entire educational process. She credits Danny with inspiring her to become a special education teacher. He has shown her how significant it is for a child with special needs to receive an education and achieve their fullest potential.
Mayra is earning an education specialist instruction credential at Cal Poly Pomona and serves as president of the Liberal Studies Club and vice president of the College of Education and Integrative Studies Council. She volunteers at an elementary school to help children with moderate disabilities learn to read.
Mayra plans to finish her studies with a master’s in education before teaching full time within the public education system.