Caitlin Blake ‘22 has been named a Nancy Larson Foundation Scholar, earning a $1,000 scholarship to help her pursue a career in elementary education.
The Nancy Larson Foundation awards scholarships to students across the country majoring in elementary education and is very selective. Blake is one of just eight students to receive the scholarship this year. Blake said she was “pleasantly surprised” to earn the honor.
In her personal narrative, which she wrote as part of her scholarship application, Blake described an experience she had in her first semester at Roanoke that gave her a vision of her future. She was working at the West End Center For Youth each week as part of her first education class at Roanoke, and formed a connection that confirmed that she wanted to become a teacher.
“I began working with a child who had developmental disabilities and we bonded, which solidified my choice in teaching,” Blake wrote. “Growing up as one of 10 siblings, some with disabilities, I know how to work with kids in special education, and I’m very comfortable with them. I knew my career would involve children. In my future classroom I know I’ll be able to put my skills of patience, communication and my unique perspective to the test.”
“I knew my career would involve children. In my future classroom I know I’ll be able to put my skills of patience, communication and my unique perspective to the test.”
Caitlin Blake '22
Blake has also worked with Family Promise and other local organizations through classes she’s taken at Roanoke. She said the Education Department does an excellent job of ensuring that students will have real-world experience at some point in their college careers.
Nancy Larson is a former teacher and curriculum director who has helped advance elementary education around the country through programs that prepare children for upper-level science classes and careers in science. She established the foundation in 2006.
“Caitlin’s extensive background working with disabled and developmentally delayed children impressed us,” Larson said in a news release. “She has the patience, perseverance and the kindness to be a teacher for those who struggle more than others.”