One in five children in Oklahoma lives in poverty, and those children are not getting the education they deserve.
The state is the leader in early-childhood education. By teaching our youngest students the foundational skills and knowledge they need, a new generation of children can sidestep the achievement gap.
Oklahoma's history is rich with obstacles overcome. From the Dust Bowl to the oil booms (and busts) to the Oklahoma City bombing, Oklahomans pride ourselves on banding together, rising to meet our challenges, and coming out stronger and smarter than we began.
Today, with just 37% of students graduating with an ACT score that will afford them entry into our state's two largest universities, Oklahoma faces yet another significant challenge: eliminating educational inequity so that the children of our state can reach their full potential.
Determined to play their part in meeting this challenge, a group of community leaders banded together, in true Oklahoma fashion, to bring Teach For America to Tulsa in 2009. Two years later, our region expanded to include the state capital, Oklahoma City, allowing us to participate in exciting collaborative efforts for change in two of the state’s major metropolitan areas. Just three years since our founding, Teach For America - Oklahoma has grown from 75 teachers to a corps of over 300.
Though we have only recently joined the ongoing fight for educational equity in Oklahoma, by establishing meaningful relationships with district and community partners who are working to drive change, we have already seen dramatic results in classrooms throughout the region. Our teachers, alumni, and staff have adopted Oklahoma's spirit of partnership, grit, and determination, and are working relentlessly to ensure the students of our state have the opportunities they deserve.
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A first-generation college student, Lance graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara, participated in a graduate program for nonprofit management at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and has an M.Ed. in educational administration, curriculum, and supervision from the University of Oklahoma.