Teach for America is a non-profit organization dedicated to recruiting undergraduate students to devote two years after college to teaching impoverished children. The reality of the American education system is that “children in extreme poverty are half as likely to graduate from high school and one-tenth as likely to graduate from college as students from the most affluent communities,” according to the Teach for America website. “There are numerous forces behind this injustice—racism, outdated policies, lack of resources, and much more;” however, this can be fixed through educators, students, and politicians coming together to create solutions, which will get rid of inequality.

Their approach is to enlist leaders from various backgrounds who will then leave lifelong impressions on the school and the students. In 2016, 3400 men and women joined the Teach for America team, where 48% were Pell Grant recipients and 34% were the first in the family to attend college. It is vital that Teach for America corps members come from diverse backgrounds and are able to contribute their stories to the classroom, for the final goal is for them to connect with the students. Teach for America has also identified Arkansas and Mississippi as high priority areas in need of good educators and leaders.

Often times, students from low-income backgrounds slip through the cracks and are unable to succeed in the classroom because they lack the foundation. As a way to combat that, Teach for America has partnered with numerous colleges across the country and hired Campus Campaign Coordinators to recruit students across grade levels to apply to the organization.

For those interested in applying, they must do so by April 21st of this year. It is vital that the student is a leader on campus and is involved in community service. Further, the GPA requirement is 2.5 out of 4.0. It is encouraged that all majors apply, for they can bring in their unique perspective and possibly use their skills to combat educational inequality through their job.

There will be numerous presentations across campus and tabling events in Commons for those interested in pursuing Teach for America after college. To learn more contact mhayrape@bates.edu.