Wellesley College Juniors Win 2006 Rockefeller Fellowships
for Aspiring Teachers of Color
April 28, 2006
Mass. -- Wellesley College juniors
Julia Curtis-Burnes of New York
City and Melanie Carter of Champaign, Ill.,
are among the 25 college juniors from across America to
be selected for the Rockefeller Brothers
Fund's 2006 Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color.
Each fellow receives up to $22,100 over a five-year period
that begins this summer and ends after completion of three
years of public school teaching.
of Elaine Carter of
Champaign, Melanie Carter attended
the University of Illinois Laboratory High School. At Wellesley,
she is an economics major and an education minor and has been elected
as president of Ethos, the black student union. She has been a
College Government Senator for two years and sits on the Board
of Trustees Investment Committee.
“I have been extremely lucky to have had teachers that have
encouraged my dreams,” Carter said. “The Rockefeller
Brothers' Fund Fellowship will enable me to continue their legacy
by giving me the opportunity to inspire a new generation of young
Curtis-Burnes, the daughter of Ruth Curtis and Bill Burnes
of New York City, is majoring in peace and justice studies with
a concentration in environmental issues in urban development. She
worked as an intern at the New York Botanical Garden while still
in high school and has conducted research on environmental health
as a fellow at the Mount Desert Island Biological lab in Maine.
she was a Boston Environmental Justice Leadership Fellow with
Careers Organization, interning with
the Dorchester Environmental Health Coalition. This fall she coordinated
an environmental justice teen advocacy group in Dorchester, Mass.
Through the "Wellesley in Washington" Program, she will
work as an intern this summer for the Watershed Protection Division's
Environmental Education and Outreach Programs.
“I think the key to educational equality is getting youth
exposed to as many opportunities as possible, so that they are
able to develop well-rounded interests,” said Curtis-Burnes. “I
am and will always consider myself a public school kid. When I
was in elementary and secondary school, I remember how influential
my teachers and mentors were who encouraged me to get to where
I am today. I would love nothing more to do the same for other
youth, and I am so pleased and honored that the Rockefeller Brothers
Fund has given me that chance.”
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, by
2014, an estimated 50 million children will be enrolled in public
schools across the nation. More than half of them are expected
to be students of color. Yet, today, only 10 percent of U.S. public
school teachers are people of color.
With the profound demographic shifts in public classrooms across
the U.S., the Fellowships address the need for more people of
color in the teaching profession," said Miriam Aneses, director
of the Rockefeller Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color.
Incoming Fellows are required to complete a summer project between
their junior and senior years. Planned jointly by Fellows and
their mentors, the projects provide students with direct teaching
experience with children or youth. Projects are presented at
a summer workshop, which will be held this year from Aug. 3-6
in the Washington, D.C. area.
Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing
an excellent liberal-arts education for women who will make
a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston
to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries.
For more information, go to www.wellesley.edu.