The actress was one of four honorees at the annual Muse Awards, which celebrates prominent film and TV personalities, and she dedicated her accolade to her fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Rodriguez.
Ferrera admitted she will always be thankful to the teacher for giving her a chance to shine on the stage during a school production of the classic Oliver Twist tale after being snubbed for a role in a Shakespeare play.
And the 25 year old wishes Rodriguez, who lost her battle with stomach cancer several years ago, could have lived long enough to see her star pupil’s rapid rise to fame on the hit TV show.
She said, “I didn’t get cast in Shakespeare, but (Rodriguez) cast me later in Oliver… There are a lot of people in my life who are surprised that I am where I am, but Mrs. Rodriguez would not be. I wish more than anything that she truly knew how much I really loved her for the gift that she gave me.”
Also honoured at the event were Julianna Margulies, writer/producer Allison Silverman, and the president of America’s Lifetime Networks, Andrea Wong.