Gateway High School
Cacia Steensen would like to leave the world a better place than when she found it. Cacia developed “an insatiable passion for science” early on but did not at first consider pursuing teaching as her path to change. Growing up with a science teacher as a mother, she witnessed the long hours and weekends her mother put into her work and became aware of the many challenges of being a public school teacher. She therefore vowed to avoid teaching as a profession.
Despite Cacia’s intentions, teaching played an increasingly larger role in her life. Her peers commented on how helpful she was as a teacher. When Cacia spent a summer as a science and math instructor assistant with the University of Colorado’s (CU) Upward Bound program, a college prep program for low income students from Native American reservations, she was hooked. She “became addicted to the rewarding feeling of seeing students succeed” and dedicated herself to becoming the best teacher possible.
Cacia graduated from Lakewood High School in Lakewood, Colo., and earned a BS from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She was designated an Outstanding Undergraduate of the CU Teach Program and won the Best Should Teach award. Cacia has volunteered with the I Love You Guys Foundation, a group committed to school safety and random acts of kindness, as well as with Habitat for Humanity and CU Community Health, among other organizations.