09:35 AM

Math, Art Inspire Future Teacher Natividad Mosqueda


Not every University of Houston-Downtown student has the opportunity to introduce herself to thousands of Houstonians.

Of course, public speaking opportunities aren't uncommon for Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo (HLSR) recipients, who frequently appear at luncheons and community meetings. UHD student and HLSR scholar Natividad Mosqueda, however, shared her story with ABC13's television viewing audience.

She was among the scholarship recipients participating in the recent HLSR Parade. Mosqueda, along with fellow HLSR scholar Je'Niya Braziel, represented the University aboard the parade's education float.

During the event, she made her television debut when ABC13 anchor Tom Koch hopped aboard the float and interviewed her on live television.

The veteran broadcaster asked her what it meant to be the recipient of a HLSR scholarship. She replied that it was the "best thing in the world" for a college student.

"It's very meaningful when you are not sure if you'll be able to attend college," Mosqueda said. "This scholarship really supports students and helps them achieve their dreams."

UHD also is helping Mosqueda, a resident of the Cy-Fair area, achieve her dreams. After graduating from Northbrook High School, she originally set her sights on Texas A&M University. She returned home to attend Lone Star College Cy-Fair before transferring to UHD.

"I noticed a big difference between A&M and UHD," said Mosqueda. "The classes were smaller, and I met more professors who were willing to stay after class and answer questions. The faculty here encourage you to ask questions and make time for students."

Mosqueda hopes to apply this student-friendly attitude to her own pupils when she eventually becomes a teacher. She is expecting to complete her bachelor's degree in mathematics in spring 2019 and then will start working toward a teacher certification.

Mosqueda loves to crunch numbers, but she also loves art. In middle school, she was inspired to become an artist and later took her talents to Northbrook High School in Spring Branch. She learned about the HLSR School Art Scholarship and submitted a drawing for consideration. To her surprise, Mosqueda was awarded a scholarship, which continues to support her academic efforts.

"I didn't want to ask my parents to pay for college," she said. "They had to pay for other things and help out some of our family members in Mexico. This scholarship made a difference in my life."

Mosqueda first focused her sights on becoming a landscape architect. Then, she wanted to apply her creative talents to a career in art education. Now, she's firmly set on becoming a math teacher.

"When I arrived at UHD, I wasn't 100 percent sure that I would stick with teaching," she said. "But the faculty here are inspiring and I've enjoyed the classes. I thought that I'd just get my bachelor's degree, but realized that the teacher certification course will prepare me for working with students and organizing my classroom."

Although she is committed to helping students learn math, she's confident that her creative side will be an asset in the classroom.

"I am an artist and child at heart who just so happens to love math as well," Mosqueda said. "I plan to teach math and make it an easier topic for students in middle or high school. Soon, I will be doing that soon thanks to both the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and UHD."

Mosqueda is a prime example of Gator Grit and reflects UHD's commitment to its transfer students. Through partnerships with community colleges, such as HCC and LSC, students have opportunities to seamlessly transition from associate's programs into undergraduate majors at UHD. Those seeking to continue their studies at UHD benefit from resources and events, like Transfer Thursday, which offers admission counseling, information on scholarship opportunities, and advising.