Changemakers, Our Work for Students

Student, Mentee, Now Teacher!

Alaysha G., an alumni from Champions For Learning’s Take Stock in Children, program will cross the stage this month earning her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Florida Gulf Coast University. Alaysha started her educational journey in Naples. She was born and raised in Collier County and began pursuing teaching because it is her passion.

“In high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. That is until I started volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club of Collier County. I knew teaching was for me because of the instant bonds I made with the kids. I loved them and wanted to give back,” shared Alaysha.

Alaysha was inducted into the Take Stock in Children’s program at Champions For Learning program in eighth grade, almost seven years ago. Since then, Alaysha has grown up with the guidance and wisdom of her mentor Tammi Pittaro, a former teacher of thirty-seven years.

“The chances that I was paired with Mrs. Tammi, a former teacher, definitely made me believe this was my calling. She inspired me to be a teacher. She always encourages me, and to this day keeps pushing me to want to be a better me,” shared Alaysha.

Pittaro was recently awarded as a recipient of a Glass Slipper for her dedicated involvement in Collier County. Alaysha accompanied Pittaro to the event when receiving the award. Both are still very close to this day.

Alaysha relied on scholarships to help her fund her undergraduate years and joined Champions For Learning knowing she needed the support.

“Growing up, my parents told me they were not able to pay for my college. I made sure I earned enough scholarships to pay for my schooling,” said Alaysha. “Champions For Learning did a great job in preparing me for college. If I did not have Champions, I don’t know where I would be. They gave me the right resources, helped me with financial aid, applying for colleges, my personal statements, networking events, all which I am so very grateful for,” said Alaysha.

As a now retired teacher, Mrs. Pittaro continues to support Alaysha especially in her college programs where she would give her tips that could be implemented into her lesson plans.

“Alaysha is a special person. I am blessed to have been her mentor and I’ve learned as much from her as she’s learned from me. She’s a very special person in my life and always will be,” said Pittaro. “I’m so excited for her future and I know she is going places. She is going to make a big difference in the world and have a huge impact on the people that come after her.”

Alaysha was recently accepted into Florida Guld Coast University’s master’s program where she will earn a degree in Special Education while being a substitute teacher in Collier County.

Champions For Learning is so proud to serve amazing students, teachers, and future educators. Giving back and serving as a mentor can change a young person’s life. If you are interested in becoming a mentor or want to learn how to give back in our community, join us for a Champions 101 to learn more about the need in our community and how you can impact our students, families, and teachers in Collier County.