Tania Parker ’23 (Child and Adolescent Development) is this year’s Trustee Emeritus Ali C. Razi Scholar — the top student honor awarded by the CSU Board of Trustees. The award is presented annually.
The CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement is given to students who demonstrate superior academic performance and personal accomplishments, as well as financial need. The scholarships are funded by numerous sources, including current CSU Trustees and Trustees Emeriti, as well as CSU Foundation Board members.
Parker is pursuing a master’s degree in early childhood educational psychology at CSUN’s Michael D. Eisner College of Education. When asked how she will spend the $18,000 scholarship award, she responded, “That’s easy. Graduate school!”
Parker also plans to pursue a master’s degree in social work, then either a doctorate or Ph.D.
Parker spent part of her childhood in foster care and is determined to help other children in challenging life situations.
“I don’t like people that hurt kids at all, or any vulnerable populations,” she said. “I’ve always felt like it’s my role to take care of them, because I was that population. I am that population, and I didn’t have somebody to advocate for me. So, I want to go and be that advocate for other children.”
Parker, 33, is a student-parent, and the mother of two boys. This year, the university recognized her as one of four Outstanding Graduating Seniors at CSUN’s Honors Convocation ceremony.
She participates in CSUN’s Educational Opportunity Program or EOP; the EOP Milt and Debbie Valera Resilient Scholars Program, for current and former foster youth; Project Rebound, for students who were formerly incarcerated; and Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES).
The past year has been filled with financial challenges and marred by the loss of six friends and family members, Parker shared, explaining news of the scholarship illuminated a dark time for her.
“I broke down because this was like the light in the darkness, the miracle that I had been praying for,” she said. “I just don’t know what I would have done without [this scholarship].”