Augustus Hawkins School
Los Angeles, California
Tanya LaMar was in college when she first came across a mathematics course that focused on critical thinking and reasoning through arguments. Once she overcame the challenge of thinking differently, a new world opened up to her. “I began to use the same logic and problem-solving skills in my everyday life. More importantly, the success I experienced in mathematics gave me a level of confidence in my intellectual ability that I did not have before.”
As a teacher, Tanya hopes to make mathematics more accessible to her students so that they too can experience success in the subject and gain confidence in their own intellect. “Sending the message that only certain types of people have the ability to do mathematics only contributes to the inequities we see in our society.” She believes that students would be far better prepared to attend college or start a career if they graduate high school having mastered logic and reasoning among other mathematical skills. “I want to be part of a movement to get students to this point.”
The first person in her family to earn a college degree, Tanya graduated cum laude with a BS in mathematics from California State University, Long Beach.