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The Peter Jennings Award for Civic Leadership is presented annually to a Teach For America alumni (or team of alumni) who embodies our core values and whose work has led to significant progress toward educational equity and excellence in the last year.

About the Peter Jennings Award

Established in 2007, this award is named as a tribute to the late journalist Peter Jennings, whose dedication to expanding educational opportunity was so important to advancing our cause.

Award winners and finalists represent a wide range of fields that impact education, including school leaders, social entrepreneurs, community organizers, and elected officials.

Finalists are nominated by Teach For America’s executive leadership team, fellow alumni, staff, and external partners. The winner of the award receives a prize of $10,000 in addition to local and national recognition.

Selection Criteria

We are looking to elevate stories of alumni who are leading “systems change” in established policies and/or practices within and across institutions. 

When nominating a TFA alum or team of alumni, please consider the extent to which they have met the following criteria:

  • Significant progress: Each candidate or team has made a significant impact on an issue of critical importance to realizing educational equity in pursuit of systems change.
  • Breakthrough year: 2019-2020 was a breakthrough year for each candidate or team's work.
  • Core values: Each candidate or team embodies Teach For America’s core values.

Nomination Information

Nominations will open Wednesday, December 1st and will be accepted until January 31, 2022.

Finalists and Winner will be announced in June 2022.


Email us for information about this opportunity.

Heather Anchini, winner of the 2018 Peter Jennings Award

Heather Anichini

Greater Chicago–Northwest Indiana '02

President and CEO

Chicago Public Education Fund

Heather Anichini is the winner of the 2018 Peter Jennings award. As President and CEO of the Chicago Education Fund, she's led the organization's efforts on helping school leaders do better in jobs that are more sustainable. Since 2013, The Fund has raised about $40 million for professional development programs for school leaders.

Nancy Hanks was a finalist for the 2018 Peter Jennings Award

Nancy Hanks

Metro Atlanta '04

Chief of Schools for Elementary

Madison Public School District

Having gone from a life poverty on the west side of Chicago to becoming a Harvard graduate, Nancy Hanks knows firsthand that students' futures are not predetermined by their personal circumstance.

Daniel Sellers was a finalist for the 2018 Peter Jennings Award

Daniel Sellers

Eastern North Carolina '06

Executive Director


Sellers was a finalist for the 2018 Peter Jennings Award. He is the founder and executive director of EdAllies, an education advocacy organization that advances policies benefitting underserved students in Minnesota.

See All Profiles of TFA Alumni, Corps Members & Staff

Previous Winners & Finalists