Cotton Scholarship provides teacher a life changing opportunity

Alexandria M. Cervantes, a lead MTSS Reading Interventionists, was born and raised in what she likes to call the heart of Dallas, Oak Cliff. Alexandria proudly identifies herself as a product of Dallas ISD. Having attended L.P. Cowart Elementary, W.E. Greiner Exploratory Arts Academy, and Skyline High School’s Magnet Program, she represents the district’s spirit and values. 

Reflecting on her educational path, she shares, “I completed my student teaching with the district in 2014 and was immediately welcomed aboard at that time.” Currently serving as a Lead MTSS Reading Interventionist at Paul L. Dunbar Learning Center, Cervantes provides support to struggling readers in grades 3-5. She also plays a key role in creating, facilitating, and delivering professional development to MTSS Reading Interventionists, administrators, and teachers across the district.

Recently, Cervantes received the prestigious William H. Cotton Scholarship, awarded to one Dallas ISD educator or administrator seeking to pursue post-baccalaureate education. 

“This scholarship truly means the world to me. It is providing a life-changing opportunity that I would have never been able to have without it.” Cervantes said. 

The decision to apply for the scholarship was not taken without a lot of consideration. Cervantes recalls the internal conflict she had, split between her desire to continue with her studies and the challenges it required. However, after reading about the William H. Cotton Scholarships in The Beat and with constant support from colleagues and family members, she found the confidence to take the risk. She asked herself, “what do I have to lose?, as she pursued the opportunity.

Cervantes aspires to establish a facility catering to individuals with reading difficulties in low socioeconomic areas, ensuring equal access to educational resources.

“I believe winning this scholarship will allow me to further my career and continue to impact students’ lives on an even greater scale,” Cervantes said.

Her advice to other educators considering applying for scholarships is simple, “Take a chance! Bet on yourself! What do you have to lose but a little time in exchange for a potentially life-changing opportunity?”

Cervantes will utilize the scholarship funds to pursue an advanced degree, which will ultimately lead her to her biggest goal of a doctoral degree, and advocate for all individuals to have the right to read and write. 

Alexandria lives by the mantra from Marian Wright Edelman, “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” As an educator, that is my aspiration, to help improve the lives of others and leave the world a little bit better than when I found it, she mentioned.

Grateful for the support extended by the Credit Union of Texas and its board of directors, Alexandria pledges to honor William H. Cotton Legacy by making a meaningful difference in the lives of others.



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