Having a dream of what you want your life to become is important. Having the desire and dedication to fulfill that dream is even more critical.

Keystone College student Angela Ceccarelli has all of those qualities and more.

Ceccarelli is pursuing her art teaching certificate at Keystone in order to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a professional educator.

She was recently honored for her efforts and her abilities with the Mary Ravita Memorial Scholarship presented by the Pennsylvania Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. The scholarship honors the late lifelong teacher, school administrator, and assistant superintendent.

Ceccarelli is the first Keystone student to receive the award from that respected organization.

“It is truly an honor,” Ceccarelli, of Jermyn, said. “I’m very grateful and I have so many people to thank for their belief in me, including my two children: Cody and Tanner, and the education faculty at Keystone College.”

As an adult learner, Ceccarelli’s story is inspiring. After graduating in 1992 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from another college, she pursued a successful career as an award-winning photographer and still maintains her own successful studio. But she discovered her true career love was to become a professional educator.

She postponed her dream as she raised her boys as a single mom.

Now that they are grown, Ceccarelli has returned to Keystone to obtain her art teacher’s certification in the college’s accelerated program, which allows qualified candidates to take the required education courses they need to become a certified teacher.

After completing her final courses at Keystone, she hopes to pursue a career in art education or possibly special education, which would fit in with her current position as a paraprofessional at the Lackawanna County Career Technology Center.

“I just love teaching,” Ceccarelli said. “It’s so satisfying to see students’ faces light up when they understand something, when they really get it. To me, there’s no better feeling.”

She values the accelerated teacher certification program, and frankly, excelled as an honor student.

“It’s hard to pinpoint one single teacher. The entire faculty has been tremendous,” she said. “They were able to keep me engaged, and I learned so much from each class. Everyone has been so helpful and I thank them so much.”

Ceccarelli also has some sage advice for everyone, particularly working adults, who want to achieve something better in their lives: “Keep on striving. Don’t give up on your dreams. Find out what goals you have, and don’t stop until you achieve them!”

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