Maxie Ezratti (BS ’10, Early Childhood Education) has committed $250,000 to NYU Steinhardt’s Early Childhood Education program to establish the Maxie Ezratti ’10 Endowed Scholarship.
This award will support students with demonstrated financial need who have completed their first semester in the undergraduate bachelor’s program and have shown early dedication to the profession.
Originally from Miami, Ezratti always knew she wanted to attend NYU because of her love of New York City and how much the campus felt like a part of the urban atmosphere. When her advisor suggested she major in early childhood education because of her enjoyment of working with and helping kids, she knew she had found her calling.
“One of the things I liked best about Steinhardt was the student teaching and the strong relationships they had built with the school systems,” says Ezratti. “I started student teaching immediately at a pre-kindergarten class in Brooklyn, and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world, being 19 and teaching in a classroom while going to school. It was almost like a full-time job, and I loved it.”
After obtaining dual certification in early childhood education and special education, Ezratti earned her Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling. She is now a therapist in Miami working with young children and their families in areas such as classroom behavior, life skills, and Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).
I would love nothing more than to give someone the chance to afford one of the best early childhood education programs in the country and to become the kind of teacher we need right now.
“My foundation in Steinhardt’s Early Childhood Education program gave me the tools to know that I could progress to my master’s because I knew human growth and development like the back of my hand,” says Ezratti. “I still remember case studies from the books I read in class at NYU and reference them in my work to this day.”
For her, establishing the Maxie Ezratti ’10 Endowed Scholarship is a way to bring more attention to an underrepresented group of educators.
“I wanted to establish this scholarship because I feel like – across the board – the early childhood education population is undervalued and doesn’t have a voice,” says Ezratti. “By helping young students into this program that advocates for educating children at a critical time in their lives, we can change the world. This is also one of the best early childhood education programs in the country, and not enough people know that. I want people to think, ‘If I want to be the best teacher I can be, then I have to go to NYU.’”
“We know how important it is that all children have access to highly effective and deeply committed teachers during their early years of education,” says Diana Turk, chair of Steinhardt’s Department of Teaching and Learning and director of Teacher Education. “The Maxie Ezratti Endowed Scholarship will help us support aspiring teachers who know that they want to reach and teach all of their students – including those with and without disabilities and with and without specified language learning needs – in diverse pre-K classrooms. We are grateful to have this scholarship available to make sure that those who are most committed to teaching the youngest students will have the means they need to do so.”
The Maxie Ezratti ’10 Endowed Scholarship will start being awarded in the Fall 2024 cohort. For the first year, one or two students will benefit from Ezratti’s gift; by the time the scholarship is fully funded, as many as five students per year will receive assistance.
“The Maxie Ezratti Endowed Scholarship will help us tackle some of the most critical challenges in early childhood education by supporting generations of aspiring teachers with access to a world-class education,” says Jack H. Knott, Gale and Ira Drukier Dean. “This will strengthen the dedicated educator workforce in NYC and nationwide and in turn benefit all of the future students that will be taught by Maxie Ezratti Scholars.”
Ezratti says she feels grateful to be able to provide support to a place that has meant so much to her. She recently spent time with Constance and Martin Silver – family friends of hers and one of NYU’s largest contributors – and she reflected on having the opportunity to be amongst people like them who are so dedicated to the university.
“I always remember going to classes in the Silver Center, and to be able to put my name on something at NYU, too, is so motivating,” says Ezratti. “I would love nothing more than to give someone the chance to afford one of the best early childhood education programs in the country and to become the kind of teacher we need right now.”
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