By Kelly Kennedy, Senior Writer
Karen Granada, a senior international studies and Spanish double major, was recently selected as a 2023 New York City Teaching Fellow.
This is a highly selective and competitive fellowship program, where Granada will be training in NYC classrooms and completing her masters degree.
Granada has not always dreamed of becoming a teacher. She was inspired to pursue this path because of her experience at Manhattan College as a Spanish lab assistant.
“That position basically gave me confidence and experience to pursue this fellowship,” Granada said. “I fell in love with the job, it made me realize that I could do something with my native language, which is Spanish. It made me realize that I can create an impact on other people by teaching them another language, so they can grow as a person and grow intellectually and professionally as well.”
Originally from Columbia, Granada came to the U.S. eight years ago. She was placed into an international high school to help her learn English. She became disappointed with the way the school was run and decided that she wanted to be a part of the change.
“I was disappointed in the educational system, just because I always strive to get good grades, not because I wanted to be the first one in the classroom, but at least to be able to make my mom feel proud of me,” Granada said. “Being an immigrant, going through all of these experiences in high school and college, I recognize that teachers are special individuals that can create an impact on students. And I know that I want to be someone that creates this impact.”
Throughout her years at MC, Granada has worked extremely hard to get to where she is now. She not only excels in the classroom and as a Spanish lab assistant, Granada is a part of three honor societies: Epsilon Sigma Pi, Sigma Iota Rho and Sigma Delta Pi.
Kathleen Gomez, a STEM Career Counselor who had worked with Granada during her interview process, commented on her work ethic as an individual.
“She’s very hardworking. She is intentional with not only her academics, but to grow as a professional and grow into the professional as she wants to be,” Gomez said.
The NYC teaching fellowship is extremely competitive, and Granada went through a series of long interviews and tests to be accepted. While Granada was at first nervous about her chances, her teachers and mentors always believed in her, and helped her believe in herself.
Adriane Bilous, Ph.D., the assistant director for the Center for Graduate School & Fellowship Advisement, commented on the necessity of a support system for students like Granada.
“We all know teachers, they are our parents, spouses, siblings, mentors and we all know the passion these individuals have for their work and their students,” Bilous said. “Karen has the desire to teach and the passion to share her knowledge. She’s kind, compassionate, and is open to learning how she can.”
Granada, along with her family and advisors, are all thrilled about this opportunity and what she will go on to do.
“I’m so thrilled for her, I know that this is not easy,” Gomez said. “In really considering her background, and everything that she has accomplished, of course, especially this, I’m just so thrilled for her. I’m so happy for her, I know she’s going to be phenomenal.”
After graduation, Granada will begin the program and will be placed in one of the five boroughs to teach Spanish for grades 7-12 as a part of Cohort 37.