lauren rousseau elementary education memorial scholarship

Honoring Lauren Rousseau 10 Years After the Tragedy at Sandy Hook

On December 14, 2012, Lauren Gabrielle Rousseau, a 30-year-old teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, was one of the 26 individuals who lost their lives in an unspeakable tragedy.

Lauren was a 2005 graduate from University of Bridgeport’s School of Education whose lifelong goal was to be a teacher. She had a deep passion for the education of children and a deep-rooted devotion to the teaching profession. Her work-ethic and dedication to her students exemplify the very best of University of Bridgeport.

The Lauren Rousseau Elementary Education Memorial Scholarship was established to honor Lauren’s memory by supporting individuals sharing a similar passionate for education. To celebrate Lauren’s legacy, we are highlighting words of gratitude and inspiration from some of the individuals who’ve received the award in her name below.

About the Award

Any student pursuing a degree in Education through the School of Education is eligible for The Lauren Rousseau Elementary Education Memorial Scholarship award (e.g., pre-service, sixth year, administrative, doctoral, etc.) by nomination of a faculty member and reviewed by a committee made up of School of Education Faculty and an alumnus who initiated this memorial. The recipient of this award demonstrates a passion for the education of all children and youth.

Recipients receive a $1000 award. It is possible to award two students per academic year if there are two individuals who demonstrate the characteristics of a passionate educator.

Learn more about The Lauren Rousseau Elementary Education Memorial Scholarship here.

I feel extremely grateful to have received this scholarship to honor Lauren Rousseau’s memory.
Being an educator is important to me to share my love of learning to read and exploring the world of literacy.

UB helped prepare me for my career through teamwork and gave me the skills to teach reading, testing, and research. Having this financial grant helped with achieving these goals. It is a wonderful honor to have received this!

With sincere gratitude,

Veronica Paulson

The Lauren Rousseau Memorial Scholarship helped me achieve my dream of becoming a teacher to educate the youth. I was so blessed to have been given this opportunity; it helped lessen the burden of paying for my master’s program, which in turn gave me more time to invest in my studies.

During the time that I received this scholarship, I was able to meet the parents of Lauren Rousseau, and in meeting her parents I realized the full impact of making sure that her memory stays alive through other educators and my students. She was truly a beautiful soul and she is missed, but through this beautiful program her memory stays alive. I am truly thankful to have been given this opportunity to complete my education, to then work with students in helping them learn to become successful. I am able to help pave the road for my students, since I was given this magnanimous opportunity.

This amazing quote by Marian Wright Edelman says, “Children must have at least one person who believes in them.  It could be a counselor, a teacher, a preacher, a friend. It could be you. You never know when a little love, a little support, will plant a small seed of hope.”  So, throughout my life, I am able to be the best teacher I can be by passing along wisdom, giving “a little love, a little support, and planting small seeds of hope” wherever I go; all because of the generosity endowed upon me. Once again, thank you for investing in my future.

Fatme Ayoub

I was a recipient of the The Lauren Rousseau/Passionate Educator Scholarship in the spring of 2019 towards the end of my graduate coursework at the University of Bridgeport. As an individual who attended Newtown Public Schools grades K – 12 and saw firsthand the impact the Sandy Hook tragedy had on the Newtown community, receiving an award in Lauren Rousseau’s name is a tremendous honor. Since receiving the award, I have embarked on a career in education where each day I strive to have a positive impact in the lives of all around me — students, colleagues and families. The University of Bridgeport master’s of Education program helped prepare me for a career in education. The professors and advisors were critical in supporting my teaching aspirations.

Jake DeVellis

Being awarded the Lauren Rousseau Passionate Educator Scholarship has been a personal milestone for me and a humbling experience. This was a teacher who gave her life for her students, standing as a first line of defense. Such was her love and passion for education and her students.

Each day as an educator I wonder if I am making a difference with my students. Am I doing all I can to ensure they are equipped with the tools they need to be successful beyond their school years and to be the leaders of their communities? This award leads me to believe that I am striving in the right direction; it makes me want to work harder to ensure that it was not awarded by mistake — to not rest on my laurels just yet.

UB has rekindled my passion for education. Learning new strategies and, most importantly, digging into the “why” of issues we face today to find solutions has been very invaluable to me.

My professors in each of the courses have shown their passion and dedication to helping us learn more about ourselves – why we are in this field and what we need to do to help the youth of today be the leaders of tomorrow. Building confidence, providing guidance, being mentors who are constantly our cheerleaders, helping us overcome obstacles and hurdles — be they self-imposed or real. They have been there throughout the journey…It was not easy, but my professors believed in me that I could do it and my struggle taught me more about myself.

After my sojourn at UB I fully understand that excellence is not stagnant. It is constantly working on bettering yourself each day to benefit the students we aim to educate. An educator or an educator-leader always keeps their eyes on what is at stake and tailors the how, what, and why of education and to cater to the needs of all students so each and every one is successful.

Usha Kumar

Receiving the Lauren Rousseau Passionate Educator Scholarship was a true honor and the most inspirational distinction of my professional career. As a career shift educator, receiving this award that memorialized such a passionate, caring, and committed teacher was incredibly special. I hope that I can continue honoring Lauren’s legacy by advocating for a successful student environment that encourages risk-taking, fosters independence, and supports students to be the best version of themselves.

Fully understanding the life-enriching skills and creative pursuits that teachers instill in their students each day is what inspired me to pivot my career into the educational field. Being able to have a lifelong impact on students, both academically and socially, is what solidified my decision and dedication to a career in education.

Anne Christine Cochran

When I learned that I was the 2016 Lauren Rousseau Passionate Educator Award recipient, I was incredibly humbled. To be honored in memory of a fellow passionate educator for her dedication to the teaching profession, her students, and their families was one of the proudest moments in my life.

I am forever grateful to the School of Education at University of Bridgeport, whose faculty have seen me grow as a pre-educator to an administrator, having completed three degrees at the University including a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.

In addition to my work in the public schools, I am very lucky to share my passion for education with my graduate students in the master’s in teaching program and the Advanced Degree in Educational Leadership program at the University! Giving back to the university that has meant so much to me and to continue Lauren’s legacy is some of the most important work in my life.

Andrew Deacon