FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 30, 2014
Contact: Valerie Martinez, Christina L. Cárdenas (909) 445-1001
John Glenn High’s Maria Borja honored by Fundacion Ecua-USA
John Glenn High School French-Spanish teacher Maria Borja was honored for her work with the Ecuadorian community by receiving the 2014 Community Service Award from Fundación Ecua**USA of California, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the poor in Ecuador.
Borja and nine other Latino citizens in the greater Los Angeles area were honored at the 15th anniversary celebration of Fundación Ecua**USA on May 15.
“I feel honored and I feel good that my work has been appreciated,” Borja said. “I thought to myself that all teachers deserve this kind of recognition, but for some reason they thought I went above and beyond.”
Borja has been teaching Spanish and French at John Glenn High School since 1998. A native of Ecuador, Borja immigrated to the United States when she was 12 years old.
She holds two associate of arts degrees in French and Liberal Arts; a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from California State University, Los Angeles; and a master’s degree in educational administration from Point Loma Nazarene University.
Other than her educational pursuits, however, Borja’s work outside the classroom is what helped put her over the top to win the Community Service Award. She has volunteered in many capacities to bring knowledge to those less fortunate.
By being involved in self-esteem workshops, teaching laid-off workers and holding personal-growth classes in Nicaragua, Borja has taken the knowledge she’s obtained over the years to help others grow educationally, professionally and personally.
“Ms. Borja is a stellar teacher with a great deal of experience,” said Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Ruth Pérez. “She has as much devotion outside the classroom as she does inside. It’s amazing how much she has accomplished and how much energy she has to keep our students thriving.”
For her efforts, Borja was presented with commendations from State Sen. Kevin De Leon and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and a note of appreciation from President Barack Obama.
“Ms. Borja is the type of teacher who can really inspire students, as she inspires so many around her,” said NLMUSD Board of Education President Margarita Rios. “She is one of many special teachers who spend their lives helping others. I’m very glad that her efforts were recognized.”
Photo caption: John Glenn High School French and Spanish teacher Maria Borja, right, was honored May 15 for her community service by Fundación Ecua**USA of California. She is joined by colleagues Beverly Duffee, right, and Sylvana Calahorrano; and Fundación Ecua**USA president Franklin Figueroa.