Education News

Rice, UH to Join New Scholarship Program for Future Teachers

The scholarship program will start this school year and is expected to support as many as 500 teachers over the next decade.

The Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation will manage the scholarship program for future teachers and has already supported stronger teaching in places like Port Isabel.
The Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation will manage the scholarship program for future teachers and has already supported innovate teaching in places like Port Isabel.

Two Houston schools will participate in a new scholarship fund for future teachers, launched with the lofty goal to elevate the teaching profession in Texas.

H-E-B’s chairman and CEO Charles Butt has pledged $50 million for the fund, adding to his previous major philanthropy for public education in the state.

These new scholarships will support hundreds of future teachers at ten different universities around Texas, including Rice and the University of Houston. They could receive an estimated $5 million each.

Amber Thompson, who leads the teacher preparation program at UH, said that she hopes it will draw even more people to consider teaching.

“All the students out there need a quality teacher,” Thompson said. Research shows that a teacher’s strength has the biggest impact in a student’s success.

“I really believe that participation in this is going to elevate the profession, in general by not only supporting students while they’re in the field, but really placing importance and showing candidates that are passionate about teaching that they matter.”

UH student Eva Alvarado said that the new scholarships will help aspiring teachers like herself, who juggle school, work and family to launch their career.
UH student Eva Alvarado said that the new scholarships will help aspiring teachers like herself, who juggle school, work and family to launch their career.

UH education student Eva Alvarado, 32, hopes to land one of those scholarships.

This past spring, Alvarado juggled a full load. She was a student teacher at a Houston elementary school, worked an after-school job and took care of own her three children.

“It has been kind of hard lately as having to be a student as well as having to work as well as providing to our family,” Alvarado said.

She wants to become a bilingual teacher and says a scholarship worth $8,000 would mean a lot.

The scholarship program will start this school year and is expected to support as many as 500 teachers over the next decade. It will be managed by the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation.

“I think we’re going to be growing a body of teacher leaders, with the understanding that diversity is key and preparing for our diverse learners is key and leading in that arena is key,” said Judy Radigan, who will lead the Raising Texas Teachers program at Rice University.

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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