Top of Page

Inside CPS

News and Stories from across the District

My Pathway to Early Childhood Education as a Teach Chicago Tomorrow Scholar

01 March 2024

Ariana describes her Teach Chicago Tomorrow experience as a straight pathway that has gotten her closer to her dream of becoming an Early Childhood Educator.

Ariana Coss, TCT Scholar

Ariana Coss, a CPS graduate and current Teach Chicago Tomorrow (TCT) scholar, was first introduced to the program when her high school counselor signed her up for an information session. From that day on, Ariana describes her TCT experience as a straight pathway that has gotten her closer to her dream.

The idea of pursuing teaching first came to mind when Ariana became an office aide to her 9th-grade science teacher during her senior year at Amundsen High School, located in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago. Through her volunteer work, Ariana learned she enjoyed the day-to-day work but was encouraged to become an educator when she realized the impact her background could have on her future classroom.  

“Growing up, it wasn’t common to see teachers who shared my Hispanic culture until my 6th-grade Spanish class,” says Ariana. “Knowing that most of the student population in CPS is Hispanic inspired me to pursue teaching to connect with students with the same or similar cultural backgrounds.” 

Now in her second year at Truman College, Ariana has engaged in numerous academic and professional development opportunities, including her summer internship at Truman’s Child Development Lab School. Through this opportunity, she learned to incorporate best teaching practices to provide high-quality care for preschool children of diverse backgrounds, inspiring her to pursue a track in Early Childhood Education.  

Ariana has also served as a TCT ambassador in the program. In this role, she gets to speak to high school students across the District about the various opportunities TCT provides. Knowing that her work as an ambassador helps recruit high school students for upcoming cohorts makes her hopeful for the future generation of CPS teachers who will harness their own experiences as students to foster inclusive classrooms. 

“It's important to continue to support opportunities like Teach Chicago Tomorrow because not only is it benefiting CPS graduates, but also the District as a whole,” she says. “We’re having former students come into schools to try to incorporate what worked for them growing up and change what didn’t.”  

Ariana is preparing to transfer to Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) after earning her associate's degree at Truman, and she credits her journey thus far to her TCT and SEED directors, Helen and Kevyn, for providing her with academic, career, social, and financial support. Her biggest advice to high school students interested in the program is to take a leap of faith and join an information session to learn more about how TCT could benefit them.

Teach Chicago Tomorrow is the District’s innovative program to help CPS graduates become CPS teachers in just four years. Through partnerships with higher education partners, this program provides students with a structured pathway to help them reach their dream of becoming an educator.

Related Stories

22 March 2024

Take Five with Fatima: High School Senior and Runway 606 Participant

Fatima thinks Runway 606 gives her the opportunity to broaden her horizons, challenge herself, and grow both academically and personally.

14 March 2024

Succeeding Both on the Soccer Field and in the Classroom

By Neftali O., Senior at Alcott College Prep High School

13 March 2024

Seven Questions with a Posse Scholar from Washington High School

Angela says she has grown so much as a student and a person over the past year. 

06 March 2024

Reflecting on a Transformative High School Experience

By Aracely B., a Senior at Infinity High School