Claire Calderón ’12

Claire Calderon

San Leandro, California

Career: After-school program leader
Majors: Latin American studies, gender and women’s studies

Inspired by her mother’s passion for her work as a public school teacher, Claire Calderón is now making a vast difference for low-income youth at a public elementary school in San Leandro, California. She admits, “I think secretly, she’d been preparing me for the opportunity to teach my whole life.”

After graduating from Scripps last year, majoring in Latin American studies and gender and women’s studies, she now works as an after-school program leader with Girls Incorporated of Alameda County, a position available through Americorps. Girls Inc. is a “national nonprofit aimed at providing free, high quality after school programming to low-income girls.”

Calderón volunteers as a teacher’s assistant in the mornings, and teaches a group of third grade girls as part of a literacy-based after-school program. When speaking of how Scripps prepared her for her current work, Calderón says, “My Scripps career, especially the months I spent working on thesis, instilled in me the work ethic that I count on every day.” Calderón also was able to develop important facilitation skills as part of Core III by teaching a Spanish class to local middle-school children.

Describing why she loves her job, Calderón says, “I am extremely grateful for the bonds I have formed with my students and coworkers. My girls are bright and energetic. Their curiosity and often, blunt honesty, have rubbed off on me.” Despite the challenges and frustrations of her job, she acknowledges, “I am lucky to be in the unique position to creatively infuse feminism into their lives by exposing them to powerful role models and concepts that I wish I’d been introduced to at a much younger age.”

Though she enjoys being a mentor to her students, she does miss eating lunch in Seal Court and seeking advice from professors. For students looking for career advice she says, “When days are hard, allow yourself a good rant and then let it go enough to do your job with passion. When days are great, celebrate them fully and unabashedly.” Calderón looks forward to continue serving the East Bay community in the future.