We are excited to introduce you to Elizabeth Larsen, the 2018 Vicki Soto Memorial Scholarship recipient from Bunnell High School. Elizabeth will be attending Housatonic Community College in the Fall for Early Childhood Education. After winning the scholarship, she said, “When I heard my name called as the winner of the Victoria Soto Memorial Fund Scholarship I started shaking from excitement…it was all I could do to walk across the stage. Winning this scholarship means a great deal to me. I truly believe Miss Soto was a superhero. I hope to have the same love and respect from my students someday that she had and be the kind of teacher that she was.”
Elizabeth is such an enthusiastic, warm, kind and wonderful senior who is ready to pursue her passion of becoming an educator. She has already attended college orientation and when we spoke to her this summer she said that she was very much looking forward to starting her college career!
In addition, Elizabeth told us, “This June, after graduation, I participated in the Barnum Festival Road Show for the second season as a “Barnumette” dancer. The Barnumettes are a group my brother and I started when he was Barnum Festival King last year. We asked several of our friends from KICKS Dance Center to be in the Road Show with us, and it was such fun, everyone did it again. We even added three new younger girls to prime the group for next year since the senior class will retire. We visited nineteen convalescent, retirement homes and special needs facilities over three days around the Bridgeport area. We were on the front page of the Connecticut Post and had a float in the Great Street Parade. As part of the Barnumettes, I also danced and modeled in a charity fashion show for the Angel Fund, which helps families who have lost a baby.”
We are so honored to welcome Elizabeth to the VSMF family! We wish Elizabeth all the best at school and in her journey to become a teacher.
*During the interview process it was very clear that applicants, Molly Hines and Taylor Brady both of Stratford High School, were equally qualified, passionate and dedication to education. For this reason, the committee awarded both of them with scholarships.*
Molly Hines is a graduating senior from Stratford High School. When Molly received the scholarship she said, “I was extremely shocked to hear my name called and I still can’t believe it! It’s still just all a blur. I truly can’t describe how much this means to me and how much I appreciate it. I truly hope to continue Vicki Soto’s legacy and what she stands for. I am going to Iona College this fall and am majoring in Education. This summer I’ve been preparing for college but also relaxing because I’ve heard it’s a lot of work!”
Taylor Brady is a graduating senior from Stratford High School. She will be attending Coastal Carolina University majoring in Elementary Education this upcoming fall. To prepare for college, Taylor said, “I have been working all summer to help pay for tuition as well as getting cute dorm stuff and making last memories with my friends. When they called my name as the recipient for the Vicki Soto Memorial Scholarship I was shocked, honored, blessed and ecstatic! It means so much to me that I was awarded such an amazing scholarship. As I start my college career, I am going to do my best to follow in Vicki’s footsteps everyday.”
We wish both Molly and Taylor all the best in their freshman year!
Congratulations to our CT State scholarship recipient of 2018, Hailey Coleman! Hailey is from Oxford, CT and graduated from Oxford High School. She will be attending Emanuel College in Boston this coming fall. When we spoke with Hailey she said, “I am still in complete awe about being the Connecticut recipient of the Victoria Soto Scholarship. My application essay for the scholarship highlighted the recent stigma surrounding the education field and the lack of unity within it. To be the recipient of a scholarship that is built on the foundation of love and kindness and passion for education is truly remarkable. Knowing that I have the support of the Soto family behind me is a driving force for my inspiration to be the most exceptional educator I can be. At my senior award ceremony, Matthew and Jillian told me that once I sat down, they could see Vicki in me through the passion I had for education. I will spend my entire career working to hold half of the amount of dedication and passion and heart that Vicki had for her job and her students. To be compared to such a miraculous person is something that brought tears to my eyes.”
We are so thrilled to have Hailey as part of the VSMF family and know that she will have tremendous accomplishments in the field of education. Right now, Hailey is planning her big move to Boston. She said, “I have been in love with the city for as long as I can remember; being able to study there is something beyond my wildest dreams. I am attending Emmanuel College as an Elementary Education major. My biggest challenge with moving into the city is being able to find an outlet to continue dancing. With great heartbreak, I had to say goodbye to my dance studio, Kicks Dance Center, of 15 years. Through this studio I have built life-long friendships and have attained superb technique. This studio has given me more experiences and challenges then I can count. Through their support, I have already made my first visit to Radio City Music Hall last summer and completed a 3-day intensive under the Radio City Rockettes. I hope one day I will have the ability to invite my instructors to my debut show as a Radio City Rockette! Fingers crossed that my dream may one day come to fruition!!”
We wish Hailey all the best this fall with her freshman year of college. We hope she attains all of her dreams! Aim high Hailey!
It’s time! Registration for the Fifth Annual Vicki Soto 5K is now open! Sign up today for $26. Don’t miss out! Prices increase on 9/1!! Register at vickisoto5k.com
We are going Back2School, Team Vicki style!! We are very happy to announce we have partnered with Sterling House Community Center on their Back2School Drive. We have backpacks, crayons, markers, pencil cases, erasers, glue sticks, book covers and so much more to give away. We will be there this Saturday, August 19th from 11:00am – 2:00pm with school supplies for Stratford K-6 students. The event takes place rain or shine on the Sterling House front lawn.
On Friday, September 1st, Paradice Cream will be hosting the first Vicki Soto Ice Cream Fundraiser. Located at 3600 Main Street in Stratford, it is sure to be a fun day for the entire family! A portion of the proceeds will go to the Vicki Soto Memorial Fund, Inc. Saxophone player, Logan Seaburg will be playing and there will be ice cream specials all day! Hope to see you there!
CALLING ALL SPONSORS!! We are looking for some great companies to help sponsor the Vicki Soto 5K this year. It’s a fun day for the entire community! If your company is interested, sponsorship details and forms are available by clicking here.
Over 200 teachers came down to our headquarters this weekend to get free books! Thank you so much to all of our TVS volunteers who help make this weekend possible. We couldn’t have done it without you! Thank you to all the teachers who came down as well to collect books for their classroom libraries. We are so proud of all of our great educators and hope these books are a wonderful new addition to your school year. Also, a big thank you to Scholastic and their “Open A World of Possible” initiative for donating these incredible books! Vicki’s legacy lives on. #teamvickisoto #sharepossible
News 12 Connecticut – “Memorial event helps fill libraries with books”
News 12 Connecticut – “Vicki Soto Foundation, Scholastic fill school libraries”
Our back to school teachers book drive was a huge success today! We were able to impact over 150 classrooms! Thank you to everyone who came down to our headquarters. We had teachers from all over Connecticut and even a few from New York too. Each teacher left with a full bag of free books and a new excitement for literacy.
Today was filled with so many emotions, but we know that this is an event that Vicki would have been first in line for.
Unfortunately, today we gave away most of our books in our children’s library, grades K-5, but we do have middle and high school level books for teachers who are able to come by tomorrow!
We want to extend a huge thank you to Scholastic and their “Open A World of Possible” initiative for donating these books. The looks on teachers faces makes all of the hard work worth it. #teamvickisoto #sharepossible
CALLING ALL TEACHERS! Don’t forget to come get your free books for your classroom this weekend! Please bring your teacher ID. See you on Saturday and Sunday!