Briya CDA graduate wins 2016 STARS award

IMG_8383Maxine Gorham, a 2016 Briya Child Development Associate graduate, was awarded Most Outstanding Adult Student at the 2016 STARS Tribute. The tribute honors leaders in DC public charter schools.

“Gorham has been an exceptional student, role model and human being, constantly showing us that determination and commitment can guide us towards our professional goals in spite of obstacles,” said Mau Castro-Trujillo, who taught Gorham’s CDA class and nominated her for the award.

As a CDA student, Gorham not only worked hard to improve her own work and performed well academically, but she also welcomed opportunities to assist her classmates one-on-one. According to Castro-Trujillo, Gorham’s determination and caring spirit were inspirational.

“Gorham is an amazing person and teacher, and should be taken as an example for future generations of teachers and CDA candidates,” she said.

While taking class at Briya in the evenings, Gorham spent her days teaching three-year-old students at KIPP DC Grow Academy, as well as caring for her six-year-old son and her grandmother. Additionally, she participated in a professional learning community for charter teachers organized by the Flamboyan Foundation.

“Maxine Gorham is an inspiration to her students, a distinguished leader among her peers, and a beloved team member for her superiors,” said Susan Schaeffler, Executive Director and CEO of KIPP DC. “She is a wife, mother, teacher and student, and she balances all four beautifully.”

Gorham’s next step is attending the University of the District of Columbia to work toward a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. After getting her degree, she aims to become a reading teacher and eventually open her own childcare center.

“It means a lot to me, winning this award,” Gorham said. “It meant the most for me to share that special moment with my son. I want him to see that being a leader and working hard brings great reward.”