Ricarda in library

Meet our Future Educators

American Education Week is November 12 through November 16, 2018—and here at the Taco Bell Foundation, we’re joining the National Education Association in their celebration of educators who ignite a difference in the lives of youth. We’re proud to share that nearly 40 young adults within our very own Live Más Scholarship community are aspiring teachers, with concentrations ranging from early childhood to adult education. In honor of American Education Week, we’re highlighting three scholars in our community who are already effecting change in the lives of students as current teachers.
Scroll to learn more about the unique perspectives they bring to their classrooms.

Haley Neil

Haley’s passion is a blend of literacy education and creative writing, inspired by her time as a preschool teacher with Teach for America, a nonprofit organization that enlists promising young leaders to serve as teachers in public schools within low-income communities. With her preschool classroom, she realized that storytelling provided more for her students than just entertainment—they had a powerful impact on their socioemotional and cognitive development. Haley received a Master’s degree in education and is now pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing at the New School. As both a writer and teacher, Haley hopes to create diverse stories that foster growth within her own students and in classrooms across the country.

Haley’s original submission video

Matthew Coonan

Matthew is spoken word poet whose dream to become an English teacher is inspired by the educators and mentors that have made a difference in his life. Hoping to nurture a similar passion for creativity within the younger generation, Matthew received a degree in childhood education from SUNY Oneota. Today, he is a teaching assistant in an inclusion classroom, working with 2nd and 3rd grade students with special needs while also pursuing a master’s degree in creative writing at Stony Brook University. As a teacher, he hopes to open new doors in literacy and foster self-expression in his students by incorporating creative writing into his classroom’s curriculum.

Matthew’s original submission video

Michelle He

Michelle’s dream to become a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) educator originates from her experiences as a researcher and mentor. In high school, she served as a research intern for the city of Knoxville, while simultaneously working as a math tutor at her local community center and hosting science competitions for elementary students in underprivileged communities. As a teacher, Michelle hopes to foster an authentic appreciation for STEM in her students and create a classroom where every child has the tools they need to succeed. To learn more about Michelle’s vision of math and science education, click here.

Michelle’s original submission video