Teach For America-Charlotte Welcomes Most Diverse Teaching Corps in Region's History

New Teachers Meet Principal Demand and Join Local Efforts to Expand Educational Opportunity


Charlotte, N.C., August 26, 2015—Local schools will welcome 85 new Teach For America corps members this fall—the most diverse group in the organization’s 11-year history in the region. These new teachers join 90 second-year corps members, along with 350 Teach For America alumni working in the region. The milestone comes as Teach For America’s national organization marks its25th anniversary. 

“I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to teach in the same community where I grew up,” said 2015 corps member Braielyn Peoples, a graduate of Harding High School and North Carolina A&T. “I get to see students who are living in the same neighborhoods, who have the same struggles, and who will be able to represent the same community on their journey through life."

This year’s corps also brings a wide variety of experience and expertise to local classrooms. Nearly 40 percent applied as professionals or graduate students and over 40 percent will teach STEM subjects—positions which tend to be particularly difficult to fill. Known for its high admissions standards, Teach For America admitted 15 percent of national applicants this year. Several of the new teachers were themselves once taught by Teach For America corps members and alumni.

By maximizing the diversity of its teaching corps, Teach For America ensures that it is enlisting the country’s top talent. In North Carolina, 18 percent of all teachers identify as people of color, compared with 46 percent of students. Among the 2015 Teach For America-Charlotte corps, 52 percent identify as people of color; 45 percent come from low-income backgrounds; and 30 percent are the first in their family to graduate from college. Forty-three percent of 2015 corps members identify as African American and 10 percent identify as African American men, compared to just 2 percent nationwide.

“We listen very hard to what principals and parents want,” said Tim Hurley, executive director of Teach For America-Charlotte, “They want talented, diverse leaders for their schools. We’re thrilled to see this outstanding group stepping up to be just that.”

“Teach For America is a tremendously important CMS partner," said Ann Clark, superintendent of Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. “Teach For America's talented corps members and alumni are helping to deliver high-quality instructors in some of our highest-need schools.”

Corps members are hired by schools and receive training, support and ongoing professional development through Teach For America. Most corps members receive an AmeriCorps education award, which can be used to repay student loans or certification costs, or to pay for further education costs. Through AmeriCorps, corps members can put qualified loans into forbearance while teaching.

About Teach For America
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 high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. This fall, 8,800 corps members will be teaching in 52 urban and rural regions across the country while more than 42,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.



Becky O’Neill