Desire Tucker volunteered with Equal Education in 2009. She was loved by all. Here she writes about her next major project: Teach for America.
Teach For America aims to end educational inequity—the reality that in the United States, where a child is born determines his or her educational outcomes and life prospects. We are working with a great sense of urgency to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting our nation's most promising future leaders in the effort. Their vision is that one day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education. Teach for America recruits outstanding recent college graduates from all backgrounds and career interests to commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools. They provide the training and ongoing support necessary to ensure their success as teachers in low-income communities.During their two-year commitments, Teach For America corps members see first-hand that educational inequity is solvable and gain a grounded understanding of how to solve it. Beyond these two years, Teach For America alumni bring strong leadership to all levels of the school system and every professional sector, addressing the extra challenges facing children growing up in low-income communities, building the capacity of schools and districts, and changing the prevailing ideology through their examples and advocacy.
Since its inception in 1990, the Teach For America network has grown to include 24,000 individuals. Currently, some 7,300 Teach For America corps members teach in 35 urban and rural areas profoundly affected by the achievement gap. They are working extraordinarily hard to ensure that students achieve academic success despite the inequities they face.
It is my esteemed pleasure to join this task force of dedicated individuals, but more importantly a perfect segue from the political movement of quality education in South Africa, to the parallel battle in the United States. My journey will take me to the rural south, in the state of Mississippi, the most impoverished region of the nation, and consequently plagued with the lowest performing and achieving schools. Tenacity, optimism, and teacher preparedness, with time and continuity can change the face of the education landscape. I will take pride in joining this movement, and returning to South Africa, standing with the men and women at Equal Education to continue their fight!