6 Miami local educators join Teach For America

Teach For America recently announced that six Miami locals have been accepted into the organization’s 2015 teaching corps.

Teach For America is a national nonprofit working to expand educational opportunity for students in low-income communities. Corps members commit to teach in high-need urban or rural public schools and become lifelong advocates for educational equity.

The locals are Aislinn Quinn, Alison Sanchez, Jackeline Zelaya, Keyla Valladares, Sherell James, and Natalie Serret. They are graduates of Holy Cross High School and California Institute of the Arts; Archbishop Edward McCarthy High School and University of Florida; South Miami Senior High and University of Florida; Young Women’s Preparatory Academy and Syracuse University; Coral Reef Senior High School and Florida International University, and John A. Ferguson Senior High School and University of Florida, respectively.

“I am more than excited to serve students in the community where I grew up and see how much they can achieve,” Sanchez said.

“I think about teachers like Mrs. Wexler and Mrs. Coya who challenged me academically and pushed me to pursue the path that I desire, not the one that is expected of me,” Serret said. “And I think of my dance students and the students I worked with this summer that have humbled me and are proof that all children are capable of achieving wonders and deserve the opportunity to attain an education that will expand their opportunities outside the classroom and change the trajectory of the rest of their lives.”

In this country’s lowest-income communities, just 6 percent of students will graduate college by the time they’re 25. These six join a network of 50,000 corps members and alumni working alongside parents, principals, and communities for positive change.

“It is with incredible excitement we welcome this group of remarkable and diverse corps members,” said Elisa Villanueva Beard, co-CEO of Teach For America. “They join a group of 50,000 leaders who have raised their hand to be part of ensuring every child has access to an excellent and equitable education.”

During the past 25 years, thousands of talented individuals have launched or continued careers in social justice through Teach For America. Hundreds of corps members and alumni have been honored as teachers of the year by their school, district, county, or state. More founders and leaders of entrepreneurial education organizations started careers with TFA than from any other organization or company. Alumni have gone on to become leaders in politics, school systems, nonprofit work, advocacy, and more. Together, they form a nationwide network helping to expand and strengthen the movement to give all kids access to a great education.

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 highneed schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org.

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