Who We Look For
Hoʻokahi nō lā o ka malihini is a ‘Olelo No'eau (Hawai'ian proverb). Translated to "a stranger for only a day" it speaks of how after the first day as a guest, one must help with the work.
Teach For America's Hawai'i region needs:
- Leaders who embody our regional values of kuleana, ʻohana, and aloha
- Leaders who embody TFA's core values of choosing courage and acting with humility
- Leaders with deep ties to Hawai‘i and partners with an orientation towards allyship
- Leaders with awareness and understanding of Hawaiʻi’s history, context, culture, and relationship to the United States
Where We Work
Oʻahu is home to the majority of Hawaiʻi’s diverse population, a fusion of East and West cultures rooted in the values and traditions of the Native Hawaiian people. Since 2006, we have worked to find passionate individuals who are committed to education equity and expanding opportunities for all children. From our initial charter corps of 50 young leaders a wave of impact has steadily grown over the years, impacting over 50,000 students, primarily in our high need communities in the Leeward and Central Districts of O‘ahu. Today, the vast majority of new teachers are clustered in the Nānākuli-Wai‘anae complex.
In this photo, corps members work alongside community partners at Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi on Oʻahu as part of the ongoing professional development during your corps experience at “TFAmily days."
Hawaiʻi island is the youngest and largest island in the Hawaiian chain. Nearly twice as big as all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined its sheer size is awe-inspiring. We expanded our work here in 2009 and have worked to build strong community and school partnerships. While our Corps Members and Alumni teach in schools across all three complexes, our most significant concentration of teachers is in the Honoka‘a-Kealakehe-Kohala-Konawaena complex.
In this photo, corps members work alongside community partners at the Mā'ona Community Garden on Hawai’i Island as part of the ongoing professional development during your corps experience at “TFAmily days."
Join Us Today
The tourism-driven narrative of Hawai‘i as paradise ignores the complex history of colonization and its compounding effects that continue to impact generations of kamaʻāina (local residents) and Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) today. Kamaʻāina and Kanaka Maoli residents are increasingly priced out of their homes and Kanaka Maoli face persistent systemic inequities impacting education opportunities, health outcomes, and incarceration rates.
Combatting these inequities requires a collective effort, and we are proud to partner with the Hawai'i State Department of Education and our local communities. Also, because we believe that this movement must be locally led, we prioritize recruiting kamaʻāina and Kanaka Maoli corps members. You can read more about this effort, as well as our vision for our keiki, in our 10-year strategic plan or hear from some of our local corps members and alumni in the video below.
“We're so fortunate to be in this teaching profession where we're allowed to provide access, hope, and opportunity for students that are going to change the world tomorrow.”
Teaching Certification and Graduate School
Teach For America Hawaiʻi facilitates a state-approved and nationally accredited teacher education program. By completing TFA Hawaiʻi’s Alternative Route to Certification (ARC) program, you will be recommended for licensure in the State of Hawaiʻi typically at the end of your first year as a corps member.
Some certification courses are through our two university partners, both of which offer an optional Master's degree as a continuation of your certification courses.
- Licensure only: $5,040 total
- Licensure + Master of Education in Instructional Leadership: $13,230 total
- These amounts are for the 22-23 school year, tuition rate is TBD
Need-based financial aid is available only to degree-seeking candidates based on the submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Application. The admissions application fee is waived during the months of May - July for TFA applicants. No registration fees are required. Deferred payment of AmeriCorps funds is available.
- Faculty and staff are experienced in working with local schools and students in Hawai‘i's unique educational climate and system. Graduates include many national and local award-winning teachers and administrators.
- Students interested in becoming a vice principal or principal in Hawai‘i's public school system in the future can take elective courses which can be applied towards the Hawai‘i Department of Education’s Certification Institute for School Leaders (CISL) program, if accepted. Chaminade is one of the two higher education partners working with the Hawai‘i Department of Education to provide these courses.
- Licensure only: $4,630 total (this amount is for the 22-23 school year, tuition rate tbd)
- Licensure + Master of Education in Instructional Leadership: $28,780 total
- These amounts are for the 22-23 school year, tuition rate is to be determined
Financial aid is available on a limited basis. Payment plans are available. Application and registration fees are waived during two-year program plan, tuition for 9 waived institute credits waived. Deferred payment of AmeriCorps funds available. Frozen tuition for two years.
- JHU is one of the top graduate schools of education in the country. The MSEd program is fully aligned with TFA curriculum at the local and national level with regional context built-in.