DANBURY, Conn. -- Two students from Danbury's Western Connecticut State University have won the Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Awards.
Senior Jessica Coraizaca, of Danbury, and graduate Nicole Chalk, of Monroe, were each recognized for their dedication.
The Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award was established in 1983 as the private development foundation of the Connecticut State University system. There are 12 awards given annually to distinguished students from Western, Central, Eastern and Southern Connecticut State universities.
Coraizaca "came to the United States when she was just 12 years old. She spoke not a word of English and in a short time, she not only became fluent in the language, she earned outstanding grades and grabbed every opportunity to become a better student in the Danbury schools," representatives said.
"Because of those experiences, she decided that being a teacher is how she wanted to spend her life. She came to Western to do just that," representatives said.
Chalk said her passion to become a teacher was sparked as a young girl – a personal calling, she said in a release.
"With the opportunity to intern in the local school system, Chalk became inspired by engaging and effective educators, and the students who were eager to learn," representatives said.
“My interactions with students and educators within our local school districts have inspired me, as a teacher, to find effective and engaging classroom methods to encourage children to embrace diversity while also sparking a passion within students for understanding and experiencing different ways of life,” Chalk said.
Coraizaca decided to attend Western because she wanted to attend a small university that offered what she needed, but didn’t make her feel overwhelmed.
“It was a good school for my career,” she said. "WCSU gave me opportunities."
Read more about Jessica Coraizaca, of Danbury, here on the Daily Voice.