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By Nadia Tellez, Choose to Excel Director

For the past ten years, CREEED has collaborated with local school districts, UTEP’s College of Education, and community organizations to ensure every classroom has a strong teacher. Some initiatives have helped train and retain the best teachers so students in the region are paired with educators who will help them succeed. Others have helped aspiring teachers gain the skills and experience they need to enter the classroom prepared to teach as soon as they graduate from college. Today, we’re excited to launch a new initiative to help strengthen the teacher pipeline by supporting high school seniors who want to pursue a career and college degree in teaching. 

Inspiring and supporting the next generation of educators is key to building a strong education system. Nationally–and in Texas–school systems are witnessing historic teacher shortages, especially when it comes to teachers who have gone through traditional education prep programs. If we want El Paso to stay ahead of the curve, then we must start growing our own teachers, starting as early as high school when students are deciding what degrees they want to pursue in college.

The Excelencia Scholarship for Future Educators will help more El Paso students see teaching as a viable career path for them to pursue in college by offering them critical financial support that often gets in the way of someone choosing to go into teaching.

The new scholarship aims to support future educators and help alleviate barriers to obtaining the education and certification they need to reach their goals of teaching the next generation of students. Every year, CREEED will award a one-time $2,500 scholarship to up to eight local high school seniors with a 3.5 or higher GPA and who are committed to attending a four-year college or university to pursue a degree in education.

This year, we proudly awarded the Excelencia Scholarship for Future Educators to five high school seniors from Burnham Wood Charter Schools, Canutillo ISD, Socorro ISD, Tornillo ISD,  and Ysleta ISD.

Meet the 2024 Excelencia Scholarship for Future Educators recipients!

Arahily Akosima

“I aspire to become a kindergarten teacher, guiding young minds and preparing them for their educational journey.”

Arahily is graduating from J.M Hanks High School with a 4.0 GPA and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Education from UTEP. She excelled in several dual credit and AP courses in high school, including Physics, History, Geography, English, and Algebra. 

Cindy Ramirez

“During my first year in the U.S., I was placed in a remarkable bilingual teacher’s classroom. Her kindness and devotion to the profession made me want to follow in her footsteps and help other children in need, just as I was.”

Cindy is graduating from Montwood High School with a 4.0 GPA and is attending UTEP to pursue a bachelor’s degree in English Language Arts/Reading and Social Studies with ESL Certification. She took a handful of dual credit courses through EPCC and is an active Texas Association of Future Educators member.

Marie Veytia

“I aim to major in education in college, specializing in special education.”

Marie is graduating from DaVinci School for Science and Arts with a 3.98 GPA, where she took several dual credit and AP courses, including English, Algebra, World Geography, Government, and Microeconomics. During her time in high school, she was involved in student council and the National Honor Society, played soccer, and served as an intern to the Superintendent. Marie is attending UTEP to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Education-Elementary SPED.

Natalie Quinlan

“I love the idea of working with children for the rest of my life and teaching in the district I went to.”

Natalie is graduating from Northwest Early College High School with a 3.69 GPA. She was involved in several extracurricular activities, including student council, the National Honor Society, and the art club. She took several dual credit and AP courses and volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club, Salvation Army, El Pasoans Fighting Hunger, and several others. Natalie is attending New Mexico State University to earn a bachelor’s degree in Education-Elementary.

Sherlyn Carrasco

“I chose to go into the education field because I want to do what teachers did for me. I want to be a teacher who will help their students grow academically and in life.”

Sherlyn is graduating from Tornillo High School with a 3.7 GPA and several AP and dual credit course credits. During high school, she was involved in student council and played volleyball, tennis, and track and field. Sherlyn will attend Elmhurst University in the Fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree in a discipline with a concentration in Secondary or All-Level Education.

We are very proud to support these future educators and wish them the best as they embark on their journey to become teachers.

If you want to learn more about the Excelencia Scholarship for Future Educators or other CREEED initiatives, please email us at

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