Success Stories

WCSU commencement will be a family affair for Bethel residents

Logan, Brian and Victoria Ferreira at Brian's MFA in Illustration Commencement ceremony in 2019

Logan, Brian and Victoria Ferreira at Brian’s MFA in Illustration Commencement ceremony in 2019

Bethel resident Victoria Ferreira, a Spanish teacher at Danbury High School and Connecticut Army National Guard reservist, will not be alone when she crosses the stage to receive her diploma on Sunday, May 12, 2024, at Western Connecticut State University’s Commencement exercises at the Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport. Ferreira, who will receive a Master of Arts in Teaching degree, will be accompanied by her son Logan, 15.

“My goals are Logan’s goals, and this is for him,” Ferreira said. “My son, despite facing challenges associated with autism, is looking forward to participating in this memorable occasion. He came to campus with me and we spent time in the library on many occasions. He understands education comes first — we both do our homework and have books. He had to be patient when I had to go to class or leave for National Guard training. He is the one who made the sacrifices, and he is a survivor and the one who deserves this moment,” she said.

“My husband and I both received our degrees from WCSU,” Ferreira continued. “I have a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Communication, and my husband, Brian, has a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art and an M.F.A. in Illustration. The university was great every time we had to leave for training. They are so supportive and worked with our schedules. I want to express my sincere gratitude to the following individuals and groups who supported my educational journey at WCSU. Without their guidance and encouragement, I wouldn’t have made it this far: Professors Dr. Jeanne Lakatos, Dr. Katie Lever-Mazzuto, Dr. Katy Wiss, Dan Saraceno and Dr. MaryAnn Murtha, who made it possible for me to survive when my husband was deployed to Bahrain. Also, my husband, Brian Ferreira, Logan’s school paraeducators Patricia Moriarty and Ksenia Rubin, and the Bethel School System. I was able to get everything done with their support, and I am thankful for that.”

Ferreira came to the U.S. from Peru in 2000. At the time, she was 26 years old. She said her family was still in Peru and she wanted to belong to something bigger. “I was active in scouting in Peru, which feels like a family,” she said. “The United States opened doors for me and I wanted to give back and serve people, so I enlisted because the Army is like a family, too. It turned out that WCSU also became my family.”

After basic training, Ferreira was involved in drilling exercises in Stratford, when she met her future husband, whose unit was also participating in drills in the same facility. Logan is their only child.

Ferreira is a Sergeant First Class in the CT Army National Guard. “Logan has been a significant part of my education, as well as my military journey,” Ferreira said. “He has attended every promotion and award ceremony, and I was honored to have him pin my new ranks each time. Everything we have done, we have done for and with him. We don’t know if Logan will be able to attend college, and we want him to have that feeling of accomplishment. He knows mommy is going to graduate, so this is his graduation, too. He’s also graduating from Bethel Middle School this year.” Proud husband and father Brian will be cheering them on from the stands.

Ferreira is an advocate for children with special needs at Danbury High School, and in her role as a Special Olympics coach. “I always try to show people that these kids are smart and kind and need opportunities,” she said. “They want what everyone wants, it just requires patience. Logan is part of the WCSU, Danbury and Bethel communities,” Ferreira continued. “He can be the face for everyone to show what is possible. He’s going to be so happy.”

Ferreira reiterated that the celebration on May 12 would not have been possible without the support she received. “WCSU is amazing,” she said. “You can do anything. It doesn’t matter what your age is, your background, if you have a special needs kid, or are deployed — WCSU is good for everyone and they will help you do anything. There is no limit.”



Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.