Carina Saucedo Named 2018 MERIT Scholar

May 8, 2018 | Joliet, Ill.

Recent Joliet West High School graduate Carina Saucedo has been selected as the 2018 scholarship recipient in the Multicultural Education Recruitment in Teaching (MERIT) program at University of St. Francis (USF). MERIT is a partnership between USF, Joliet Township High School District 204, Joliet Public Schools District 86 and the Joliet business community. It is intended to help recruit, prepare, place and induct a new generation of teachers of color for Joliet’s schools.

Saucedo’s grandfather in Mexico put himself through school working as a janitor to become a teacher, and eventually, a principal. An inspiration to her, Saucedo hopes to follow her grandfather’s path. Saucedo plans to be a bilingual elementary teacher.

“I chose the University of St Francis because many of my teachers at Hufford Junior High in the Individual Education program went to the University of St. Francis and always spoke highly of their experience,” says Saucedo.

Part of the MERIT program agreement requires the recipient to participate in the MERIT fellowship course, serve as an ambassador for the College of Education and complete a year-long internship as a student teacher at a Joliet partner school in the student’s final two semesters. Therefore, after graduation, Saucedo will make a commitment to teach in one of the Joliet district schools for five years.

Saucedo says, “I feel that being a Merit Scholar is a blessing. Not just for the scholarship dollars but for the people you will meet and the resources it will provide. Everyone I’ve already met is clearly invested and welcoming. I am touched to be a part of it.”

MERIT provides full-tuition scholarships for qualifying minority students who major in education at USF. Joliet students who would like to teach in Joliet’s schools are eligible. Scholars are selected based on qualities that indicate their potential to become exemplary teachers.

Chicago’s Univision television station was recently on campus to interview Sacuedo. That segment, in Spanish, can be viewed by clicking here.

For more information about the Merit Scholarship opportunity, visit the University of St. Francis at

Founded in 1920, the University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., is a Catholic, Franciscan university that serves 4,100 students nationwide; offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are more than 49,000 USF alumni across the globe.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.