Local 4's Finest: Mrs. Margarita Mojica

QC teacher guides students toward college

EAST MOLINE, Ill. - Mrs. Margarita Mojica helps a unique group of students walk a road that's not always easy.


The "One by One" program at Glenview Middle School is made up of 7th and 8th grade students who will be the first in their families to graduate from high school and go on to college.


"We wanted a program where students would understand why they are coming to school and they can see a bigger picture," says Mojica, "and they would understand there is a place for them in higher education - and some of that could show them the way."


The East Moline teacher is in her fourth year at the helm of "One by One" at Glenview middle school. 


Her reasons for guiding these kids are personal: she is first generation American and first in her family to attend college.


"It was very difficult to make my way but also very fortunate there was people along the way to help me," she says. "So now I have reached a certain point, and of course I'm going to reach back and help others that are coming up behind me."


We were in the classroom when the kids found out about a field trip to chicago.


These diversions keep them focused, says Mojica, and they've earned it with their good grades, attendance, and positive behavior at school.


"She's very passionate about our students," Glenview librarian Kendra Newton says of Mojica, "as we continually say 'open the doors to further education,' and having the conversations with kids of what they have to do to meet their goals."


"Some of our families have never been to college. This program helps us with all of this," says 8th grader Abida Diasso. "I'm more understanding and more determined to go to college."


Mojica keeps in touch with the kids who've moved on and says it feels good to see them succeed - that's what keeps her going.


She says, "I absolutely believe that these young people are our future in the community in the Quad Cities - that they will give back and lift up the Quad Cities, and so why not invest in our young people?"


For ensuring that investment will pay off, Mrs. Margarita Mojica is one of Local 4's Finest.


You can nominate someone for Local 4's Finest - someone who's doing good or giving back to the community, by filling out the form to the right of this page.


You can also send James a message on Facebook, or an email Jsears@whbf.com 


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