Opening up teaching opportunities to those who have received DACA is so new that the process is not always well-defined. Nevertheless, we are committed to accepting DACA recipients into Teach For America and doing everything we can to anticipate barriers and provide support. Here is more about what we know.
The Power of Your Presence
Picture standing in front of a classroom, having grown up undocumented. Imagine having the opportunity to share your story from fearing deportation to the day you graduated from college, and what it was like to get admitted to Teach For America. Think about the impact your story could have on your students, both those born in the United States and those who weren’t.
Across the country, there are countless children living in the shadows and being denied the opportunity to pursue an excellent education. A teacher is often the first adult an undocumented student will ask for help.
Whether or not you choose to share your personal story with your students, you know first-hand about the concerns undocumented kids face on a daily basis. Every corps member can be a role model and ally for children, but you can be an additional inspiration and offer guidance based on your shared background. That’s why we support the DREAM Act and actively recruit recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to apply for our corps.
Thoughts from A Corps Member
Teach For America Supports DACA
Two DACA recipients were admitted into the corps in 2013, the first year after President Obama announced the DACA directive. In 2015, we were excited to place 50 DACAmented teachers in 10 regions across the country. Today, more than 90 DACAmented teachers across 13 regions are represented in our corps.
Our staff and corps members have been working in close partnership with school districts and certification partners to ensure that DACAmented corps members can be hired as classroom teachers.
Our DACAmented corps members have taught in:
The Bay Area
California Capital Valley
Rio Grande Valley
We can also place DACAmented teachers in:
We are working to expand the number of regions for the future and actively recruit qualified DACAmented candidates to teach children of similar backgrounds and show the promise of a path forward.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and who can get it?
- Can all DACA recipients apply to Teach For America?
- Where can DACAmented applicants request to teach?
- Can DACA recipients get AmeriCorps funding?
- Is there any financial aid for DACA recipients?
- What happens if my EAD will be expiring soon?
DACA is open to undocumented individuals who came to the United States before the age of 16 who meet a variety of guidelines. It defers any removal action for two years and allows recipients the opportunity to gain employment authorization for that time as well, through the grant of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Many recipients of DACA are also eligible to receive a social security number. Recipients of deferred action can apply to renew their EAD after two years.
No matter your citizenship status, you must have at least a 2.50 undergraduate GPA and a bachelor’s degree by June to be a qualified candidate. At the time of your final interview, you must be able to provide proof of employment eligibility.
As a DACA recipient, you must have a social security number and an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to meet the hiring requirements of our partner schools.
Not all of our regions can currently place DACA recipients because of hiring and certification requirements. If you are invited to attend a final interview, the Admissions Team will reach out to you with specific instructions on how to complete your Assignment Preference Form.
While there is no guarantee that any corps member will receive an AmeriCorps education award, the funding is only granted to U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents. DACA recipients are not eligible to receive AmeriCorps benefits.
For the 2014 corps year, ultimately all corps members were able to receive the AmeriCorps education award despite reduced Congressional appropriations for AmeriCorps, and we were also able to grant the equivalent of the AmeriCorps education award to all DACA recipients.
Teach For America will attempt to provide DACA eligible corps members with the same opportunities for an education award as all other corps members. However, as a nonprofit with limited resources, at this time we cannot guarantee these opportunities will be available to any corps member (whether or not they are part of DACA).
You will be able to apply for need-based transitional grants and loans at two points:
- After you receive an invitation to a final interview.
- After being admitted to the corps.
The Corps Member Finances team will be able to help you apply for funding.
If your Employment Authorization Document is set to expire during your two-year commitment to the corps, we will provide the appropriate legal assistance to ensure you are able to apply for a renewal. It will be your responsibility to work with your regional staff and contact our Legal Affairs team about the schedule, making sure our legal team has enough time to work on the necessary steps for renewal. As a corps member, you will be responsible for paying the government processing costs for the renewal.