By TAYLOR HARTZ
Catherine MacKay, Southington, comes from a long line of educators and plans to follow in their footsteps in just a few days.
A 2015 graduate of Southington High School, MacKay will begin her college career at UCONN this month, where she plans to study education.
On Thursday, July 23, the Waterbury Connecticut Teachers Federal Credit Union granted scholarships to MacKay and three others, from New Fairfield, Naugatuck, and Watertown, offering financial support to students who plan to pursue a career in teaching.
MacKay received the 2015 The Jean O’Brien Memorial Scholarship, an annual award of $2,000 given to a student who has declared a major in education.
“Our mission is supporting education and teachers,” said Kathleen Johansen, Director of Marketing for the credit union, “and this young lady is an excellent example of the future of exemplary teachers.”
With her mother, father, and grandmother all working in education, MacKay is no stranger to teaching—the college freshman has been assisting her parents in their classrooms since she was in elementary school.
“Their experiences have truly inspired me to pursue education as a career,” said MacKay, “I’ve always felt comfortable and confident working with students and being a part of a classroom.”
The four recipients were chosen after careful review of anonymous applications, personal essays, grade point averages, academic transcripts, and extracurricular activities.
“I’m thankful that the credit union is willing to give back to future teachers,” said MacKay.
The Waterbury CT Teacher’s Federal Credit Union was founded in 1934 and has a membership of 17,000 teachers and board of education members spanning 27 towns in the state.
While the credit union hopes to help future teachers financially, they also strive to “give them a sense of confidence in knowing that back home they have an organization that’s committed to teachers, educators, and the field that they’re looking forward to going into eventually,” said Johansen.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Hartz, email her at THartz@SouthingtonObserver.com.