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Northrop Grumman Foundation Scholarship Recipient Announced

Luis Paredes Alvizurez received a full scholarship to become a math teacher.

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Luis Paredes BA '27

When Luis Paredes Alvizurez learned about his scholarship from the Northrop Grumman Foundation, with further funding from the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), to complete his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education for free, he said, “I can’t even put into words to show how grateful I am!” Born in DC and growing up in nearby Maryland, he returned to District of Columbia high school in his freshman year, where he graduated in 2023.

“STEM education empowers and prepares students with the necessary skills to solve tomorrow’s most challenging issues,” said Agartha Larbi, Vice President of Global Corporate Responsibility and Northrop Grumman Foundation President. “We are proud to support American University’s Teacher Pipeline Project with a full scholarship for a STEM educator." The Northrop Grumman Foundation Scholarship and OSSE fund Paredes as a Teaching Fellow, part of the AU School of Education’s Teacher Pipeline Project. It aims to help solve the teacher shortage by building a path for teachers from dual-enrolled high school students to take college courses while they are in high school, to fully-funded undergraduate Teaching Fellows, with credentials that can be stacked toward master’s and even doctorate degrees.

Luis Paredes works at his desk in his residence hall.Paredes's love of math, science, and teaching was fostered at an early age. One of his mother’s favorite stories occurred during elementary school when his math teacher was frustrated because he would not always finish his classwork. The teacher knew he was capable of completing the assignments, but he instead chose to spend the time helping his classmates with their work. “I was too busy helping them that I didn’t do my own work,” he remembers.

Later he took part in his elementary school's robotics club. He made robots able to navigate mazes, and others that could create art. “In my high school, I was a part of the ‘STEAM’ club,” he said, referring to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. “We built a car and competed in competitions. I believe those experiences helped me learn how to work as a team and develop problem-solving skills.”

Luis Paredes raises his hand in a classroom.“Choosing American University was an easy decision,” Paredes said. “I applied to twelve colleges, was accepted into nine of them, but AU was the one that most caught my eye because of the area and how lovely the campus is. It is also close to my parents.” He entered AU as a freshman math major, but before the first semester was over, he gravitated to the education path, which he hopes to use to teach math someday. “I’ve always had a passion for helping others and sharing knowledge,” he said. “I had some incredible teachers that made learning fun and engaging, but others weren’t as engaging, and I would like to change that. Becoming an educator will allow me to make a positive impact on the lives of others.”

Celebrating the Northrop Grumman Foundation Scholarship and OSSE funding, which pays his tuition, room, and board for the next three and a half years, Paredes’s excitement is palpable. “It’s not just the financial support that I am grateful of, even though it’s a huge relief,” he said. “It’s like a special trophy for all the hard work I’ve put in. This will open many doors for me to be able to pursue my goals to have a positive impact on other people’s lives. I can't thank the Northrop Grumman Foundation enough for giving me this incredible opportunity.”

Luis Paredes opens the door to his residence hall, Letts HallThe scholarship will help create a new math teacher a time when we need more well-equipped teachers in our community,” said Dr. Corbin M. Campbell, Acting Co-Dean of the American University School of Education. “This gets to the heart of our mission – transforming societies through education – and Luis is an exemplar of that mission. I am so grateful that the Northrop Grumman Foundation chose the School of Education for this scholarship.

“My family has been really supportive of me becoming a math teacher,” Paredes said. “They see my passion for education. They believe that I have the qualities and skills to make a positive impact in the classroom. They think it's a wonderful career choice and they're proud of me for pursuing my passion. And thanks to this scholarship, I can focus on my studies and not stress about how to pay for it all. This is a massive weight off my shoulders.”

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