Teresa A. Pitts
Class of 1977
In June 2012, Teresa graduated with College Honors from UCLA where she earned a B.A. in English with a minor in Civic Engagement. She was a member of Advanced Academic Program (AAP), the UCLA Chorale, Bruin Toastmasters and Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society. She has received several academic scholarships including the UCLA Center for the Study of Women’s Renaissance Award and in 2011 was one of 12 scholars chosen nationally to receive the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Gold Standard Scholarship.
As a non-traditional student Teresa returned to college at the age of 46, attending Santa Monica College where she was a member of The Scholars Program, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and the Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society in which she is a lifetime member. After completing over 100 hours of community service in her last semester at SMC, she was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award signed by President Barack Obama. She has been a volunteer tutor with Upward Bound since 2009 and graduated from SMC with High Honors and an A.A. in Liberal Arts before transferring to UCLA in 2010.
While attending SMC from 2005-2010, Teresa simultaneously worked as a Community Instructor at West Los Angeles College and a Training and Development Instructor at Time Warner Cable where she facilitated classes, created the winning slogan in the Regional TBSS Slogan contest and received the Living Our Values Award. Prior to TWC, Teresa was a Personal Financial Literacy Instructor with Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Los Angeles and has facilitated workshops at the UCLA Medical Center, USC, U.S. Probation Department, West Angeles COGIC, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, colleges, high schools and shelters. She also did voice-overs and served as a Funds Developer. In 2004, she was awarded the President’s Award for Excellence for her work in bringing financial institutions on-board as community partners for the Personal Financial Literacy Workshop Program.
Teresa is the author of two books, The Music of a Poet’s Heart and Where Freedom Begins, a work recognized by the International Black Writers and Artists and the Library of Congress. She performed at Carnegie Hall in 2001 with the Gwen Wyatt Chorale and is a soloist with the Angel City Chorale where she performed at The Kodak Theater, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and appeared in a national Sears commercial and Wheel of Fortune. She published a CD of her songs called, With All My Emotions and has written songs that appeared on General Hospital, One Life to Live and The Young and the Restless. Recently, her story was featured in the Huffington Post and USA Today.
Teresa is a member of the UCLA Alumni and serves as co-chair on the African American Community Relations Committee of the UCLA Black Alumni Association (UBAA). Inspired by the memory of her brother, Gregory, who died of cancer at the age of 24 while pursuing his law degree from Boston College, she remains undaunted as she pursues her law degree.
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