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Maria Ritten

ACE 28


Oak Park, IL

What do you hope to do/accomplish as an ACE Teacher?

As an ACE teacher I hope to instill strong values and an appreciation for education in my students. In my eyes, Catholic school teachers are in a unique position to teach students important values and lessons which will point them in the right direction for the rest of their lives. In addition to this, I hope to instill in my students the same love for learning that my own teachers instilled in me, the love for learning that ultimately drove me to pursue higher education. If I can both leave students with strong moral values and convince them that education is important, then I will achieve my goals as an ACE teacher.

What experiences at your undergraduate institution helped shape your decision to pursue teaching as a possible vocation?

For the past three years, every Tuesday afternoon from 3:30 to 5:30, I have participated in College Mentors for Kids, a program in which college students have the chance to get to know kids from the community around campus. When my friends would ask me about the program, I would explain about my passion for spending time with children and how, on a college campus, I often noticed the absence of kids. The hours I spent at College Mentors made me feel incredibly happy, and I began to realize that perhaps my love of working with children should play a role in my career discernment. This realization, along with a course about educational policy taught by Fr. Scully, pushed me to consider teaching, specifically in a Catholic school, as I found that the moral character education in Catholic schools is an element of education that I find particularly important. It is these different experiences that led to my decision to pursue ACE and for that I am so grateful.

How do you hope to grow in your experience as an ACE Ambassador/Intern?

I hope that my experience as an ACE Intern will help me to continue to develop what kind of a teacher I want to be once I am in the classroom. Through conversations with ACE Faculty, prospective applicants, and members of the ND community, I am sure that my ideas about what type of teacher I will be will begin to form.

Undergraduate Information

  • Major:

    Political Science, minor in Sociology & Poverty Studies

  • Activities:

    Senior Class Council, PW Hall Council, College Mentors for Kids, Center for Social Concerns Appalachia Seminar, and Interhall Flag Football