Student Spotlight

Winners announced for Sabine Krygier and Laila Arman Memorial Scholarships

January 04, 2019 by Brandman University

Dominique Baltazar, Maribel Macedo and Mirella Lopez are the recipients of three scholarships made possible by memorial funds created for Brandman University. Their dreams of being teachers are moving ahead thanks to the School of Education and its bachelor’s and credential programs.

Baltazar is working on her multiple subject teaching credential and is the recipient of a $1,000 scholarship named in memory of Sabine Krygier. It’s dedicated to helping students who want to become teachers.

Macedo and Lopez, both students working toward bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education, are each receiving $500 scholarships made possible by a fund created by alumnus Nick Arman, Ed.D. and his family, in memory of Laila Arman. 

Maribel Macedo, Laila Arman Scholarship winner

Maribel Macedo
Maribel Macedo                    

Macedo credits her kindergarten teacher with creating a safe haven for her. “Being in Mrs. Marquez’s class, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher.  I wanted to make a difference in a child’s life like she had made in my life. I did get a chance to meet up with her after I graduated from high school.  I let her know that she was my hero, that she made me feel like a child in her classroom because at home I had to grow up too fast … We both cried and hugged … and in the moment that we hugged I was back to being 5 years old again, feeling safe and loved.”

Macedo earned an associate degree in early childhood education and taught in a preschool for 16 years. She recently accepted a new position within the Head Start agency where she worked. 

“I am able to go into the classroom and give tips to the teachers to better the classroom experience. It was a hard thing for me to leave teaching, but I can now help the teachers in all classrooms,” Macedo wrote in her scholarship application. After completing her bachelor’s, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in education.

“I want to have options open for myself.  I am a single mother of three children and I can either work as an education coordinator to help teachers in the classroom or I can teach at a junior college.  My dream is to help teachers in the classroom to have more compassion and be loving and caring just like my hero was to me.”

Mirella Lopez, Laila Arman Scholarship winner

Mirella Lopez
Mirella Lopez                    

Lopez is an associate teacher in a Head Start program. In her scholarship application, she described how she overcame domestic violence and that showed her how important it was to help her own and other children build healthy relationships to lead them to a normal life.

The 27-year-old mother of four children wrote, “I became so determined to nurture my children’s social and emotional development, I dedicated my time to making things right with them. Once they were all in school, I decided it was time. I began my journey in child development. I received my transfer associate degree in early childhood education two years later and here I am.

“My goal is to become a master teacher in a preschool setting and continue to help build little minds. I have learned so much from each child I have gotten to work with. I enjoy giving them a safe environment where they can be worry-free.”

Lopez wrote that she is now married to “the love of my life,” who is kind, gentle and supportive of her dreams. “It was thanks to his encouragement that I was able to return to school.”

She looks forward to becoming a master teacher for Head Start with her own classroom upon completing her B.A.

Dominique Baltazar, Sabine Krygier Scholarship winner

Dominique Baltazar
Dominique Baltazar                    

Baltazar is a 28-year-old mother of two who finished her associate degree when she was 19 and then took time off from her education before returning for a bachelor’s degree.

“My grandma always told me it would be hard to go back to school after all those years, but it wasn’t for me. I was dedicated and wanted to prove to everyone I had what it took to finish my degree and stay focused,” she wrote in her scholarship entry.

Her bachelor’s degree completed, Baltazar expects to earn her teaching credential in May and hopes to teach first grade.

“When I look at other teachers, I see passion and acceptance when they look at their students. I want that same feeling. Teachers are powerful. I want to be their (the children’s) advocate and show them we don’t have to be bullies to get attention but to help each other. I want to be that teacher everyone can trust and know I can help them overcome anything and everything because they are special,” she wrote.

 “Brandman University has been a great key to my success,” wrote Baltazar, who opted to earn her credential online so she could also work as a substitute teacher.

“Having a teaching credential available online is so important for parents who cannot make classes during the day or at night. I am able to do homework and read when my children are napping, at school, or asleep for bed. I am able to make my own schedule. Not many universities have that option.”

About the memorial funds

Contributions are still being accepted to both funds and can be made here.

The Sabine Krygier scholarship was created in honor of alumna Sabine Krygier, who passed away in January 2017, leaving a legacy of dedication to both her students and the teaching profession.

“We are seeking to support moms returning to school for their teaching credentials, just as my mama did nearly 30 years ago,” wrote her daughter Sarah Knutson, when the scholarship fund was established.

Nick Arman and his family created the memorial scholarship named for their much-loved, 16-month-old daughter Laila who died in an accident. He hopes that continuing her legacy will bring joy and inspiration for the students who receive the scholarship, just as she did “for everyone who knew her since the day she was born.”

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