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Eileen Cruceta ‘06


Eileen Cruceta ‘06

eileen cruceta2Eileen Cruceta ‘06 (Classical High School) graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2011 with a B.A. in Secondary Education and English. “I always wanted to become a teacher,” she says, “and I am finally where I want to be in my field.” Eileen teaches ninth-grade intensive reading at Hialeah High School in Hialeah, Fla. “What I love about my job is that I am helping the students who need it the most,” she says. “All of my students read at below grade level. They need the extra reading class in order to pass the FCAT, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. They have to pass the test to graduate, but they have a tough time because they are mostly English language learners.”

Eileen continues to advance her professional training and has just started a graduate program in higher education administration at Florida International University. As a URI undergrad, she took advantage of many opportunities to get involved on campus. “When I was in my junior year I joined NASPA, which is an organization focused on the field of student affairs,” she says. “Being involved with NASPA opened my eyes to all the opportunities in higher education.” She also joined P.I.N.K. Women (Powerful, Independent, Notoriously, Knowledgeable) and completed a minor in Leadership Studies. “All of these experiences taught me a lot of valuable lessons,” she adds.

Being a Crusader had a big impact on Eileen, especially the time she spent in the SPIRIT program, starting in seventh grade. “They took me in as a family and helped me grow into the individual I am today,” she says. “Thanks to their summer topics, I gained a lot of knowledge in areas such as recycling, parks and recreation, downtowns, and the benefits of food. These experiences meant a lot because the program was free and gave me an outlet during the summer breaks. I enjoyed it so much that I worked for SPIRIT as a Peer Leader and later as a Teacher Assistant. I will always remember the many opportunities SPIRIT provided for me as a child.”

Receiving a College Crusade scholarship also made an impact. “It helped me a lot when it came to my financial need,” she says. “I was the first in my family to get a bachelor’s degree, and my mother is a single mother of four. The College Crusade scholarship, along with the URI Talent Development scholarship, helped me stay in school.”

These days, Eileen is busy exploring her new home in the Miami area and finding meaningful ways to make a difference. “My special interests are working with young individuals who come from the same background as me and who need guidance in this world,” she says.

Her advice to a high school Crusader starting college in the fall? “Let yourself come out of your comfort zone and get involved on or off campus,” she says. “College is a great place to discover your strengths and weaknesses and to discover who you really are and what things you can achieve. Enjoy it to the max because it goes by quickly!”

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