HAZARD — Teach For America will welcome 25 new teachers to schools in Eastern Kentucky this fall as part of its national 25th-anniversary corps of 4,100. As Teach For America marks five years of partnering with the community to expand educational opportunity, the organization’s national leadership force tops 50,000 corps members and alumni across 52 regions.
The incoming Teach For America corps is as accomplished as ever, and among the most diverse in the organization’s history. By maximizing the diversity of its teaching corps, Teach For America ensures that it is enlisting the country’s top talent, whether they share the backgrounds of students affected by educational inequity or come from backgrounds of privilege. Known for its high admissions standards, Teach For America admitted 15 percent of applicants this year.
Teach For America shares with its local partners a belief in the importance of engaging talented and committed individuals from all backgrounds to bring diverse perspectives and experiences to the classroom. Among incoming local corps members, 54 percent come from low-income backgrounds; 35 percent are the first in their family to graduate from college; and 31 percent had another career before going into teaching through Teach For America.
”I am really excited to welcome our new corps members to Teach For America,” said Will Nash, executive director of Teach For America – Appalachia. “At 25 years nationally and nearly five years in the region, we are working to expand our impact through our network of corps members and alumni to ensure that one day every child has access to an excellent education.”
Teach For America has become an important partner in the local effort to ensure that every child has access to an excellent and equitable education. The organization recruits top college graduates and professionals, prepares them to teach in urban and rural public schools, where they work for at least two years alongside other faculty to make a meaningful difference for their students; and develops them as leaders in education and other fields who are committed to ensuring that our country lives up to its highest ideals for every child.
Most corps members also receive an AmeriCorps education award, which can be used to repay student loans or certification costs, or to pay for further education costs. Additionally, through AmeriCorps, corps members can put qualified loans into forbearance while teaching.
Nationwide, Teach For America will mark its first quarter-century this fall with a diverse community of 50,000 leaders committed to expanding opportunities for students and addressing the systemic barriers to educational equity. A total of 8,800 Teach For America corps members will be teaching in 52 urban and rural regions while more than 42,000 alumni of the program are working from an array of sectors to ensure that all children have an equal chance in life. Locally, 70 percent of Teach For America alumni work in education, including Dr. Keith Look, superintendent of Danville Independent Schools, and many others who remain in the classroom.
Teach For America remains one of the country’s most studied educational-leadership-development organizations, with a growing body of research indicating the positive impact of corps members and alumni in classrooms, schools, and communities. As it welcomes the new corps of 25 Teach For America – Appalachia enters the year with an evolving, increasingly localized program to help ensure that all of the region’s students have access to a great education.