Cynthia Estremera ’10 recognized as outstanding student of psychology
Cynthia Estremera ’10 has just completed her first year of graduate school at the University of Massachusetts—Boston, and she’s already making a name for herself in the world of psychology.
Estremera was recently awarded the Minority Scholarship by the Massachusetts School Psychologists Association — a $2,000 award given to at least one qualified and select graduate student in school psychology in the state of Massachusetts. The scholarship will help Estremera pay for several classes and bring her closer to receiving her master of education in school psychology.
Estremera was in the first class of Posse Scholars at Centre. The Posse organization prepares promising students from public high schools for enrollment at top-tier colleges nationwide. The partnership brings student leaders from major metropolitan areas to some of America’s most prestigious institutions. Estremera graduated from Centre with degrees in both psychobiology and Spanish.
The school psychology program Estremera is enrolled in at UMass—Boston prepares students who have particular interests in working with children and families within the education system.
The field of school psychology opened itself up to Estremera as she took psychology classes at Centre.
“Centre piqued my interests in psychobiology, now called behavioral neuroscience, beginning with my first psychology class. From there, I started looking into potential future careers that would integrate my learning from psychology and biology,” she says. “I soon stumbled upon school psychology, in which I would assess and implement treatments for school-aged children with developmental delays, disabilities and behavioral problems to help them excel in the public education system.”
Estremera accepted her scholarship at the annual Massachusetts School Psychologists Association, and during her speech she highlighted the personal significance of the award.
“Four percent of Latinos receive their master’s degrees. Being a first generation Hispanic student, you could imagine how much this moment of recognition from MSPA means to me,” she said. “I am honored.”
Estremera’s master’s degree is expected in the summer of 2012, after which she will spend a year doing a full-time, supervised internship within Boston’s school system. Looking forward to the future, Estremera has plans of putting her knowledge of psychology to work in big ways.
“My professional goal is to be a competent school psychologist, to apply skills in the areas of evaluation/diagnosis, direct service and consultation, and work with Spanish-English bilingual students,” Estremera says. “A personal goal of mine is to create an after-school empowerment program in the school for which I will work to create a better community atmosphere for the school, its personnel and its students.”
For now, Estremera’s focus remains on graduate school, as well as her work as a substitute teacher in the Lawrence Public Schools, a position she has held since January. Estremera credits her Centre experience with helping her stay focused on her master’s degree.
“Centre definitely helped prepare me for graduate school by always keeping me busy,” she says. “At Centre, I learned to manage my time, be disciplined in my studies and never to be shy when seeking help or additional resources from classmates or faculty.”
Being recognized by the state of Massachusetts as an outstanding student encourages Estremera to continue working hard in her studies.
“Receiving this scholarship has motivated me in so many ways to be a better student, future professional and person,” she says.