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2020 Scholarship Recipient: Perla Villatoro

UPDATE: April 12, 2024

As for an update, I am closing out my student teaching this month and have accepted an offer to teach here in Athens at my student teaching placement! I have loved getting to teach 10th grade and am crossing my fingers that I can continue to teach it next year. I am also registered for classes this summer to continue my master's degree! 

Perla’s words about herself:

My entire childhood consists of vivid memories of me in school. Almost every teacher I have had has left an imprint on my life today. I was raised entirely by my mother herself, along with my older and younger sisters in our home. My mom is my rock and she has always made sure to do the absolute most she can to help further my education and my life. From as early as pre-k my mother has tried to build a bond with my teachers and make sure I was excelling alongside them.  My early childhood teachers will probably always be my favorite because I have stayed in contact with them the most. My pre-k teacher ended up moving across the street from my family, as she started her very own preschool. My kindergarten teacher is the one who I share the most memories, because of how fun and exciting she was and is.

Overall, all my teachers have mainly been strong courageous women with good hearts and I told myself I want to be like them, not just as a teacher, but as a good human being overall. I have a strong love and passion for reading and writing, and I know I want to share it with others along the education spectrum of things. I have not yet decided what age group to focus on; however, being able to read and help younger minds grasp the basis of the English language to me is very exciting.

I also would like to share with older teens the great American epics we read to this day, while also teaching them how to make their words have great power. Thank you so much for letting me express my desire to be a teacher and with your help I can fulfill that wish and get the chance to decide how to share my gifts and passions with others.

This past semester I did very, very well. I got all A's in all my classes which included a nice little GPA jump. I did retake a course that was entirely online last year, replacing my original C with an A. I am quite proud of that one. Hopefully, I am looking forward to performing just as well this semester and keeping my grades as best as I know I can. I am wrapping up my last core class this semester and taking my first upper-level English course. On the other hand, I am looking ahead and am planning to apply to UGA next week when the application opens for fall '22. I have spoken with friends in the college of education and am excited to make that the next step of my educational career. 


School summary: 


Last semester I completed my final intro education course with one of my favorite professors Dr. Linda Reese. It, without a doubt, was the best course on top of my other three English ones. I had my 20-hour field placement requirement in this class that I spent time volunteering in elementary schools and Gainesville High school. Everything taught in this course about educational psychology was so enlightening that I would notice how my other professors applied it in other classes. As a part English major, I did my usual three courses but chose ones I knew would be exciting. Gender and Lit was one of them, and the readings and discussions were always interesting, and I never failed to be engaged with the topics of this class. I also took Multicultural American Lit. As a Hispanic, it was intriguing to read stories about the American Dream and different perspectives of literature through the lens of another culture. Lastly, a course I dreaded having to retake, standard English grammar, ended up being a class where I felt the most like a student; as I was re-learning, I genuinely felt like a sponge soaking up all the knowledge and information given to me. My professor, Dr. Miriam Moore, excitingly spoke of the English language; I even signed up to have her again this semester! Two years into college, I still wonder and shock myself when comparing a high school classroom versus a college lab or lecture. I dare say I prefer the workload in college and how a lot of it is at your own pace, and the learning is in your own hands for most of it. The instructor and professors guide you and are there for you, but it is up to you to keep track and stay on top of everything. As someone who loves to be busy, I have zero complaints. It is also an entirely different atmosphere; the energy feels slightly different. While volunteering at the GHS hub walking inside the high school and then heading back to UNG is a weird feeling. Maybe it's because Gainesville was my school and has my memories, but it's strange in a good way. I think these feelings may also serve as a reminder of how much we grow and how much more we have yet to learn.

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