Corps visits UK, aims to teach

By Drew Teague

One national organization will be on campus this week, bringing along one of their famous board members, John Legend.

Teach For America, a corps for college graduates to teach in underprivileged schools across the country for two years, will be on campus this week to promote their organization.

Nolan Jackson, TFA’s campus campaign coordinator at UK, said many events are planned for this week to get undergraduate students involved with the organization.

“We’ve sent out invitations to students who have been recommended by our campus coordinators,” Jackson said. “Tuesday night, the Student Activities Board is sponsoring a lecture on campus with John Legend, who is a board member on TFA.”

Jackson and others will be tabling all day outside White Hall Classroom Building to pass out information to all those interested, especially those who want to apply.

“Any graduating senior can apply,” Jackson said. “TFA is a two-year teaching commitment after you graduate college with a degree.  The next deadline is our third deadline and that’s October 26. So anybody that is interested can visit the website and start the application. It’s really simple.”

Jackson said after students submit their applications online, there will be an interview stage and a final selection stage. He said students will get a chance to put preference on a region after they have been selected.

“You take a test to qualify for the certain classes you’ll teach,” Jackson said. “Then you’ll be trained over the summer before you’re actually placed in your teaching region.”

Jackson said TFA is one of the country’s most prominent organizations and is great to help start a career or graduate school applications.

“TFA was actually recently ranked as one of the top ten best ways to jumpstart a career by Bloomberg Magazine,” Jackson said.

Kelsey Hayes, former Student Government vice president and current TFA teacher, joined the corps because of the mission of TFA.

“I truly believe that one day all children in America will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education regardless of their background, socio-economic status, or the zip code they are born into,” Hayes said. “I also witnessed, first-hand, the achievement gap as I was growing up.”

Hayes teaches eighth grade English and reading at Patrick Henry Middle School in Houston.

“Any student who truly believes in the mission of Teach For America and is willing to dedicate two years of their life to this work should apply,” Hayes said. “I would love to have another Wildcat in the classroom at my school.”

Hayes said her students are inspiring because of the things they have overcome in their lives. “Not only are they smart and have big dreams, some of them overcome more adversity every day than I could have ever dreamed of,” Hayes said. “I Teach for America to give my students an opportunity to make it out of the neighborhood”