Philadelphia is the birthplace of our nation’s democracy and boasts a history of momentous events and admirable leaders. Yet despite centuries of innovation and progress in the city, there is still much work to be done. In the School District of Philadelphia, fewer than 1 in 5 students graduates, enrolls in college, and persists even into their second college year. It is clear that not all of Philadelphia’s students are getting the education and opportunities they deserve.
Since 2003, Teach For America has been working in partnership with schools and community members across Philadelphia to change this reality. Each day, more than 150 corps members strive to be transformational teachers and leaders for the students of Philadelphia. They work together with colleagues, parents, principals, and entire neighborhoods to improve outcomes for our kids.
Our alumni are continuing to bring about change from the classroom to the systems level - from LeAndrea Baltimore-Hagan (Greater Philadelphia ’03), a teacher leader at Morton Elementary, to Marc Mannella (Baltimore ‘98), the CEO of the expanding KIPP Philadelphia Charter Schools, to Elaine Leigh (Greater Philadelphia ‘08), a founding board member of PhilaSoup - an organization that funds classroom projects and builds teacher networks - to Alejandro Gac-Artigas (Greater Philadelphia ’09), who founded Springboard Collaborative in an effort to increase literacy enrichment opportunities.
We have so many reasons to believe that Philadelphia can live up to its place in history by helping our citizens fulfill the promise of the American dream. We won’t stop working until that becomes our reality.