My name is Kate Kavouras, and I am a 2005 Teach For America (TFA) corps member and a proud member of NCCC Class VII (Denver Campus). I know that you may already be familiar with TFA, but I am writing to share with you a little bit about my involvement with NCCC and how it led me to TFA.
But where could I go from there? They say that you can’t be an AmeriCorps member forever; you have to join the real world sometime, but that’s not completely true. I first heard about TFA because it’s an AmeriCorps program. As I learned more, I realized it was an opportunity for me to continue serving as an AmeriCorps member while beginning a career as a full-time, salaried teacher. Even if a long-term career in education is not what you’re looking for, I’d still urge you to consider TFA. The career and leadership development you receive as a TFA corps member is designed to help you succeed across multiple sectors.
From 2005 to 2007, I served as a TFA corps member teaching middle school social studies in Harlem. Along with more than one thousand other corps members serving in New York City, I worked relentlessly to close the achievement gap plaguing low-income youth. Like my time in NCCC, I was having fun, serving with other young ambitious people from across the nation, and making a tremendous impact.
Let’s be honest –
It’s hard – like building a trail at 10,000 feet in the winter or running an afterschool program without supplies or direction – but you know hard.
It’s intense – like counseling families whose lives have been devastated by a disaster – but you know intense.
It’s inspiring – like seeing Michael, one of my 8th graders who had been expelled from his previous school, propose a graduated income tax as a way of rebuilding the nation after the Civil War.
It’s impactful – like seeing Ivelis and Stephanie, my two 7th grade girls that just-wouldn’t-stop-talking at the beginning of the year, channel their energy into starting a book club to read David McCullough’s 1776.
It’s transformative – like watching my former 7th grade students five years later, as they graduated with offers to four-year colleges.
You know inspiring, and impactful, and transformative. You’re an AmeriCorps member. The problems facing students in low-income classrooms – the doors that will never open for them simply because of inadequate education – are too important for your service to end with NCCC. By continuing your service with Teach For America you can become a leader in the effort to expand educational equity.
Whether you’ve already considered Teach For America or not, I am writing to ensure that you remember to APPLY NOW to Teach For America’s final deadline, which is this Friday, February 15th.. You can also email Molly Friedland if you’re interested in meeting with a TFA representative. I hope that you will consider applying to Teach For America and continue having an impact on communities across the country.
All the best,