The Alhadeff Future Teachers of Color (AFTOC) program has selected two new student ambassadors this semester, Talia Sampson and Christianna Lapine.

The students along with their faculty advisor are hoping to bring more awareness to the program as well as involving more students in AFTOC.

AFTOC was established in response to the underrepresentation of ethnic minorities in the field of education. This includes those who aspire to be teachers, principals, superintendents, and educational association or instructional leaders.

Amir Gilmore is an assistant professor at the College of Education and the faculty advisor for the AFTOC program.

“I am glad to resurrect this program to really better support the college, the university and the state of Washington,” Gilmore said. “We are trying to diversify the teaching workforce, so this program is really powerful.”

Introducing the student ambassadors

Closeup of Talia Sampson
Talia Sampson

Talia Sampson is a fourth-year student at the College of Education and is majoring in teacher education with an English Language Learner (ELL) endorsement.

Christianna Lapine is in her third year and is also majoring in teacher education with an ELL endorsement. Both students are ambassadors for the AFTOC program this semester.

Outside of their involvement with AFTOC, Sampson and Lapine are involved in many other organizations on the WSU campus.

Along with being an AFTOC ambassador, Sampson is involved in other areas on campus as well. She serves as a student mentor for the Multicultural Student Services as well as being a co-captain of the Krimson Kouture dance team. Lapine is also an active member on the WSU campus and is involved in other clubs. She is a member of the Student Washington Education Association (SWEA).

Closeup of Christianna Lapine
Christianna Lapine

Sampson and Lapine had both heard of AFTOC prior to coming to WSU and knew they wanted to be a part of the program when they were able to.

Throughout the semester, Sampson and Lapine are focused on recruiting and supporting other students through monthly workshops and the annual AFTOC conference in April.

“This program is here to help spread awareness about diversity in the teaching field and in the classroom,” Sampson said.

Bringing awareness as well as diversity into future teachers is vital to creating an inclusive school environment not only for educators but also for students.

“There is a program for students of color that is here to support you,” Gilmore said. “We are here for you and open for you. We are here for you.”

Sampson and Lapine both said they are excited to bring back AFTOC to the WSU campus as well as connecting and supporting other College of Education students.

“The door is open for all students and we are here to help,” Lapine said.