"To be a Dunham Scholar recipient means I’m able to help my parents the way they always wanted to help me through my education. Since we arrived to the United States and moved to North Aurora, attending West Aurora High School was a blessing for me because I felt accepted by my teachers. I finally felt like I belonged somewhere and that motivated me to try my best in school. After graduation, I want to teach in the Aurora area because I want students to feel the acceptance and motivation like I did."
Juan Sanchez '20
"For me, being a Dunham Scholar is a promise that I will give back to the community that got me here in the first place. I am a product of public education in Aurora and whatever I accomplish can be attributed to that first and foremost. To be able to educate the future of Aurora is my mission. I will give my students the opportunity to think creatively for themselves. I will place no limitations on what their minds can do and expression will be an essential part of the classroom. Thank you, Dunham Fund Board for supporting me along the way and thank you for constantly believing in the immense potential that the City of Aurora has."
Abigail Risner '21
Choral - Music Education
"Thanks to the Dunham Scholars program, the generous scholarship allows me to take out less loans and make college more affordable. This is a gift that I have no idea what I would do without. I’ve made the commitment to teaching in the Aurora area after graduation because I want to give back to a community that gave so much opportunity to me. Aurora has a lot of dedicated teachers who have inspired their students. I believe that the classroom is the backbone environment that can enact a change in humanity. This means that I, as a teacher, have the huge responsibility to ensure my classroom is the best environment and is a safe and comfortable place for mankind to prosper. I hope to be an inspiration to students of my own one day."
Karina Rodriguez '21
Spanish & Secondary Education
"Having lived in the Aurora area my entire life, I am dedicated to the city and the community. My positive experiences with past teachers have motivated me to become an educator myself to positively impact other students and that is why I am committed to teaching in the Aurora area after graduation. The field experiences I have been involved in have allowed me to gain experience working with students to truly get a taste of what it means to be an educator in Aurora. I hope that my students will be able to see themselves in me and be motivated to do positive things with their lives. Representation is important. If you can see someone that is like you accomplish something, you'll believe it is possible for you too."