Monica Lara

Monica Lara wants to drive discussion to promote self-growth and awareness of inequality issues as a future upper elementary or middle school teacher.
Monica Lara plans on becoming an upper elementary or middle school teacher in a diverse school district. When she isn't studying, Monica enjoys spending time with her friends and pet rabbit, and tending to her houseplants and chili garden.

Monica Lara strives to represent people of color through teaching, impacts community through extracurriculars

Throughout Monica Lara’s life, she found herself to be one of the few persons of color in her classes. She hopes as a future teacher, she can help represent students of color in her classroom.

Monica’s passion for education started with her involvement in the Science Bound program as a sixth grader. She couldn’t have imagined that in seven years, she would be attending Iowa State University on a full scholarship from Science Bound. She has even had the opportunity to instruct younger students within Science Bound.

“My teachers picked me to participate in Science Bound in middle school. As a teacher for Science Bound, I instructed geometry and algebra classes,” Monica said.

Monica said her favorite part of being an instructor was getting to be in the classroom and inspire young minds. She hopes to continue teaching for upper elementary or middle schoolers who come from diverse backgrounds. 

She has also worked as a program coordinator for the Boys and Girls club, where she organized activities for local youth.

“I am so young myself, so it’s crazy how much these kids teach me,” Monica said. “My favorite part is being able to connect and build relationships with the kids, and give them advice.”

Monica’s favorite class at Iowa State University is EDUC 405, Social Justice Education and Teaching: Early Childhood and Elementary. She enjoyed discussing the world’s social environment in real time and expanding her knowledge on the intricacies of subject matter relating to racism or disabilities. Monica hopes that people will start to have conversations and strive for an equal, socially-just environment for all.

Monica spends her free time as a Bed of Bags club member. In this club, she crochets sleeping mats — made from donated plastic bags — for the homeless. She plans to use what she has learned from her activities and classes to continue to be mindful of students from all backgrounds. Monica urges her fellow students to do the same as they continue to build their careers.

“Get connected with your professors,” she said. “They have a network of potential employers, and can help you find more opportunities.”