The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) recently ranked Teach For America among its “Top 50 Workplaces for Native American STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Math] Professionals.” This is the third continuous year that Teach For America has received the distinction. Winds of Change magazine, a publication of AISES, cites the education nonprofit’s Native Alliance Initiative as strengthening relationships with Native communities and helping to improve outcomes for Native students. In 2014, AISES and Teach For America established a partnership to increase the representation of American Indians and Alaska Natives in STEM studies and careers.
“It is an honor to receive this recognition by AISES for the third year in a row as it helps raise awareness of the opportunity to impact Native students and their trajectories in life through education, particularly STEM education that will open doors and expand their dreams,” said Robert Cook, senior managing director of Teach For America’s Native Alliance Initiative and an enrolled citizen of the Oglala Lakota Tribe of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. “Teach For America’s Native Alliance Initiative strives to increase, support, and strengthen the inherent sovereignty of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students through education and works to provide access to the resources and opportunities necessary for students to become transformational leaders in their communities and nations.”
Additionally, The Tribal Education Departments National Assembly (TEDNA) and the American Indian College Fund (College Fund) recently signed formal partnerships with Teach For America to help increase the number of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian teachers who have attended and graduated from tribal colleges and universities to help impact educational opportunities for American Indian students attending tribal schools throughout the country.
"This is an important step for Teach For America and TEDNA to continue to promote and place American Indian teachers into classrooms,” said Quinton Roman Nose, Executive Director of the Tribal Education Department National Assembly. “Native students deserve to have role models as part of their educational journey, and Tribal Education Departments can introduce more American Indian college graduates to the teaching profession through programs like Teach For America.”
“The College Fund is pleased to partner with Teach For America because we believe in the profound impact Native teachers can have on our children,” said Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund. “We welcome the opportunity to increase the number of Native teachers in our schools. This partnership allows us to join many organizations in their commitment to this effort.”
The Native Alliance Initiative works hand-in-hand with tribes and Native communities to expand educational opportunities for their students. The initiative was created to support and provide corps members with more strategies for incorporating tribal and community culture into the classroom, recruit more Native leaders to the teaching profession, and develop a critical pipeline of leaders committed to advocating for Native communities and children.
Teach For America's Native Alliance Initiative works hand-in-hand with tribes and Native communities to expand educational opportunities for their students. The initiative was created to support and provide corps members with more strategies for incorporating tribal and community culture into the classroom, recruit more Native leaders to the teaching profession, and develop a critical pipeline of leaders committed to advocating for Native communities and children.
Teach For America knows great teachers come from all backgrounds and that committed, talented individuals—whether they come from privilege or not, can be powerful classroom leaders. Teach For America also believes that teachers who share the background of their students can have a profound additional impact. Since its inception, the Native Alliance Initiative has increased the number of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian individuals in its teaching corps and alumni base from 40 to nearly 300, impacting nearly 38,000 students, representing more than 100 Federally Recognized Tribes.
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. Today, 8,600 corps members are 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.