DACAmented Teachers

The Power of Your Presence


Thoughts from A Corps Member

Kareli Lizárraga
Colorado 2013
"As someone that has been an undocumented immigrant in the United States for the past 18 years, I am acutely aware of the obstacles that many of my students will have to face. I remember the uncertainty and even shame I felt while growing up, from being unable to open a bank account or get a license like the rest of my friends. From the constant threat of deportation to the crushingly limited access to higher education, I have faced the consequences of our parents attempting to forge a better future for us."

Teach For America Supports DACA

Meet three teachers from California and Colorado and learn how DACA and Teach for America have changed their lives.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

  • 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 we do our best to place corps members in one of their highly preferred regions, we cannot guarantee it. We encourage you to be flexible when selecting your regional preferences.

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 2015 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:

  1. After you receive an invitation to a final interview.
  2. 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.