Milwaukee, August 27, 2015—Teach For America will welcome 75 new teachers to local schools this fall as part of its national 25th-anniversary corps of 4,100. As Teach For America marks seven 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. The incoming national corps has an average GPA of 3.4 and includes more than 50 student-body presidents, more than 165 NCAA Division 1 athletes, more than 90 prestigious scholarship recipients, and more than 50 Phi Beta Kappa members. University of Wisconsin-Madison is among the top providers of corps members among large-sized schools nationally, contributing 35 graduates. Graduates have also joined the corps from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette University.
Among incoming local corps members, about 40 percent identify as people of color; 48 percent come from low-income backgrounds; 30 percent are the first in their family to graduate from college; one-third applied as professionals or graduate students; nearly 30 percent have backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, or math; and 20 percent call Milwaukee home. Together, the first and second year corps members make up the most diverse corps in Teach For America–Milwaukee's history.
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.
Teach For America corps members go through the same hiring process and are paid in the same way as other new teachers. 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.
“We couldn’t be more excited about this year’s corps,” said Garrett Bucks, executive director of Teach For America–Milwaukee. “This group is diverse, humble, ready to work hard for students—and they’re fired up about Milwaukee.”
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. The organization continues to be one of the country’s largest sources of African American and Hispanic teachers; in Milwaukee, 14 percent of incoming corps members identify as African American, and 8 percent identify as Hispanic. In addition, more than 11 percent of incoming corps members identify as multi-ethnic/multi-racial, and 6 percent identify as Asian American or Pacific Islander. Three individuals were also taught by corps member, and are joining a growing number of “second-generation” corps members.
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. Of the 440 Teach For America alumni living in the region, over 60 percent continue to work in education, including Maurice Thomas, founder and leader of the proposed Milwaukee Excellence Charter School; Melissa McGonegle, founder and proposed leader of Stellar Collegiate Charter School; and Darnell Hamilton, Emily Andrews, and Rachel Story, who are continuing to teach at Golda Meir School after helping to expand the program to include a high school.
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 75, Teach For America is poised to enter its 7th year of impact in Milwaukee with 130 first- and second-year teachers and an evolving, increasingly localized program to help ensure that all of the Milwaukee’s students have access to a great education.
About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. This fall, 8,800 corps members will be teaching in 52 urban and rural regions across the country while more than 42,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.