The Student News Site of Wofford College

Old Gold & Black

Breaking News
  • Issue 12 Out Now! Good Luck with Exams and Safe Travels!

Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

National nonprofit organization works to end educational inequity

Through+Teach+For+America%2C+recent+grads+will+be+placed+to+teach+in+K-12+classrooms.
Through Teach For America, recent grads will be placed to teach in K-12 classrooms.
TEACH FOR AMERICA PLACES RECENT GRADS INTO LOW-INCOME SCHOOL SYSTEMS FOR TWO YEARS IN ORDER TO PROVIDE STUDENTS WITH MORE EQUAL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES—

Teach For America (TFA), a non-profit organization aimed at eliminating educational inequity by placing leaders into under-served schools in both urban and rural areas, has hit the jackpot with Wofford students. Seniors Margaret Carroway, Maggie Stroud and Anna Henson all answered the Teach for America call and will spend the next two years (after graduation and a five-week training program) serving our children, schools and community.

“Teaching is something that I’ve always wanted to do,” says Carroway, a history major and art history minor who will be placed in Alabama. “I love to talk to people about the thing that I love, and I’m such a history person and always have been. Teach for America a perfect way to connect with students and talk to them about my other passions and hopefully have them grow to like it too.”

Similarly, Henson, a psychology major, had dreams of teaching, but became discouraged after seeing the struggles that teachers face.

Story continues below advertisement

“When I was a little girl I would come home from school just to play school, but I had education [as a career option] ‘crossed out’ coming into college,” says Henson. “Gradually, however, different experiences in college have led me to reconsider as I have come to realize that ending educational inequity is a deep set passion of mine.”

Stroud, a biology major and business minor, is in the same boat.

“I was initially jaded by what society believes success should look like. Through my experiences studying abroad, specifically in India, I realized how fundamental education is to a society and its success. My passion arose out of that realization,” says Stroud. “A quality education is more than curriculum, it’s about empowerment, it’s about showing someone that they can. Hard work gets you so much farther than brilliance, and I want to help show that idea to these kids who might not otherwise have access to a good education.”

Henson believes that every student has the potential for success, and that the responsibility to recognize and encourage student growth too often falls upon the teachers, especially those within low-income communities.

Applying for Teach for America involves an initial online application followed by a telephone interview. If accepted past this point, Teach for America requires an online activity and a face-to-face interview, which includes a group discussion on pre-read articles and a five-minute lesson as well as the formal job interview.

“The application wasn’t necessarily intense, because it is worth it if you believe in the cause, but it is very thorough,” says Stroud. “It’s a selective process, and TFA only picks those who are qualified and passionate, so you should not apply if you still have hesitations.”

Still, both Carroway and Stroud strongly encourage others to look into the program for the potential growth experiences and opportunities that it offers.

“Ultimately, I want to spread my enthusiasm and passion for learning,” says Carroway. “I will get a lot of experience through this opportunity. I know that these students will teach me as much as I teach them. Also, I’m hoping that the school I work for will extend its contract with me so that I can continue teaching.”

Stroud’s expecting the gamut — failure, triumph, and a lot of personal growth.

“There was a quote in one of the schools we visited in India that said, ‘It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.’ I agree that one candle can do a lot and hopefully my time working with TFA will allow me to be a part of something bigger in this movement towards educational equity.”

Jennifer Dillenger, director of The Space in the Mungo Center, recommends that students start during their first year considering possible career paths.

“A major choice doesn’t equal a career choice, so it’s important that the student begin considering possible paths early,” says Dillenger. “I encourage students of any year to meet with a career coach about his or her path.”

Many students’ career paths involve graduate school or a job directly after graduation. However, it would appear that many students don’t know about alternative options available to them. Says Dr. Krick-Aigner, the chair of the post-graduate scholarship committee, “The culture of Wofford has to change so that more students know that there are other opportunities besides getting a job directly after graduation or going directly to graduate school.”

She welcomes students who want to pursue postgraduate fellowships, scholarships or work options.

—Kelsey Aylor

Donate to Old Gold & Black
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Wofford College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Old Gold & Black
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal