2017 List Makers

Teach For America Alumni Recognized As Leaders By The Media

A round-up of the alumni who received honors from local and national publications in 2017.
Monday, December 11, 2017

Despite the challenges that 2017 brought, Teach For America alumni have continued to work relentlessly across industries to strengthen communities and improve outcomes for children. And though they don’t do it for the honors, many are nonetheless receiving well-earned recognition in the media for their contributions to their communities and their fields.

Several alumni recently have been honored by local and national publications for their leadership, creativity, and big ideas—and that’s in addition to the seven alumni were named to the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 list in November.

From connecting more homes to the internet to igniting the entrepreneurial spirit in young people, TFA alumni are continuing to prove what’s possible across the country—and their efforts and accomplishments are being noticed and celebrated. We applaud these alumni, and the thousands more working behind the scenes, for their commitment to communities and progress.


Local Publications

Hardy Farrow
Hardy Farrow

Hardy Farrow (Memphis ’13)
Founder and Executive Director, Let’s Innovate Through Education
Memphis Business Journal: 40 Under 40

Farrow’s nonprofit LITE works to equip African American and Latinx high school students in Memphis with entrepreneurial skills that will lead to high-wage careers after college.

And it’s working. The nonprofit reports that more than 90% of its participants have launched entrepreneurial projects since 2014.

Read more about Farrow and LITE.


Aviva Rosman
Aviva Rosman

Aviva Rosman (Chicago ’10)
Co-Founder and COO, BallotReady
Crain’s Chicago Business Magazine: 20 In Their 20s

As the recent winner of nearly a million dollars in seed funding and much national recognition, Rosman’s startup BallotReady has grown exponentially in its three-year existence.

BallotReady is an easy-to-use, online guide for voters now available in more than 25 states. It offers comprehensive, non-partisan information on all candidates and referendums, which sometimes number in the thousands for particular elections.

Read more about Rosman and BallotReady.org.


Gerard Falls
Gerard Falls

Gerard Falls (Eastern North Carolina ’13)
Teacher, The Capitol Encore Academy
Fayetteville Observer: 40 Under 40

As a fifth-year teacher in the Eastern North Carolina area, Falls has already risen through the ranks. He currently serves as his school’s middle grade department chair, and he was named as the runner-up for North Carolina Charter School Teacher of the Year in 2017. He has taught both 6th and 8th grade.

In an interview with the Fayetteville Observer, Falls says he’s proud of creating classrooms “where students engage with the challenges facing our community and the larger world.”

Falls graduated magna cum laude from Methodist University and is a veteran of the U.S. Army.


Christian Arsenault (Connecticut ’08)
Principal, Fishers Island School
Connecticut Magazine: 40 Under 40

As the founding principal of Capital Community College Magnet Academy, Arsenault was committed to putting Hartford high schoolers on a pathway to college. At CCCMA, students could earn enough credit to fulfill a complete year of college before their high school graduation.

Arsenault received recognition for leading students to an average GPA of 3.4 in their Capital Community College coursework last year. Arsenault earned his BA from the University of Connecticut and master’s in counseling from Central Connecticut State University.

Since receiving the recognition, he has become principal at a school on an island off the coast of Connecticut.


Brian Garrison
Brian Garrison

Brian Garrison (Chicago-Northwest Indiana ’01)
Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
Indiana Business Journal: 40 Under 40

Garrison’s commitment to educational equity remains strong 15 years after teaching social studies in Chicago Public Schools. He currently serves on the board of United Way of Central Indiana and as the board chair for KIPP Indy Public Schools.

Garrison works in labor and employment law and told the Indiana Business Journal, “[B]eing a labor lawyer means communicating with lots of different people and organizations. I had experience with that as a teacher.”

He received his law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and BA from DePauw University.


Jason Kloth
Jason Kloth

Jason Kloth (Rio Grande Valley ’03)
President and CEO, Ascend Indiana
Indiana Business Journal: 40 Under 40

Kloth’s career trajectory includes several leadership roles at Teach For America, including serving as the founding executive director of Teach For America–Indianapolis, and serving as deputy mayor of education in Indianapolis. His career started as a sixth grade teacher, where he was named Teacher of the Year.

As the head of Ascend Indiana, Kloth is working to close the talent gap in the Indiana labor market. The organization helps people find meaningful work by connecting them to opportunities and building skilled pipelines for employers.

Kloth graduated from the University of Illinois.


Alexandra Rouse (South Louisiana ’05)
Chief of Staff, New Schools Baton Rouge
Great Baton Rouge Business Report: 40 Under 40

Since the start of her career, Rouse has worked to expand educational opportunity in her hometown of Baton Rouge.

New Schools helps increase access to excellent education by underwriting and supporting schools. Alexandra leads alongside several TFA alumni, including New Schools for Baton Rouge’s CEO, Chris Meyer (Greater New Orleans ’04).

In addition to her work at New Schools, Rouse’s career accomplishments include helping expand and develop school partnerships in Baton Rouge while serving on TFA’s staff. She was also named a semi-finalist for the Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teaching Award.

Rouse graduated summa cum laude from Louisiana State University.


Education Publications

Chike Aguh
Chike Aguh

Chike Aguh (New York ’06)
CEO, EveryoneOn
Wharton 40 Under 40

EveryoneOn is a nonprofit that works to create affordable and accessible internet service options for all homes. It partners with providers and device refurbishers to offer low-cost solutions to the more than 75 million Americans without internet.

Aguh’s diverse career path includes stops in Thailand as a Fulbright Scholar and jobs at McKinsey & Company, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the Massachusetts Secretary of Education’s office, as well as serving as a second grade teacher in Brooklyn.

Aguh earned his BA from Tufts and MEd and MPA from Harvard.


Tom Allin (Mississippi Delta ’09)
Real Estate Associate, Self-Help Credit Union
Alexandra Moore (Colorado ’13)
Management Associate, Citigroup
Poets & Quants: Best And Brightest MBAs

While their career paths are different, both Allin and Moore were recognized by Poets & Quants for their thoughtful leadership, contributions to their communities, and innovativeness.

Since graduating from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, Allin has started work in real estate development in North Carolina.

After serving as the MBA program president at Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, Moore has started her business career at Citigroup, Inc.


National Publications

DeRay Mckesson
DeRay Mckesson

DeRay Mckesson (New York ’07)  
Co-founder, Campaign Zero
Clint Smith (D.C. Region ’11)
Writer and Ph.D Candidate
Ebony: Power 100

Mckesson and Smith join an impressive list of Ebony honorees, including Oprah Winfrey and Kendrick Lamar.

Mckesson is being recognized as a “community crusader” for his work with the Black Lives Matter movement and the police reform campaign, Campaign Zero. Read more about Mckesson.

Smith is receiving honors in the “luminaries” category for his writing. He has recently published a collection of his poetry, Counting Descent, and was among the TFA alumni recognized on the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Read more about Smith.


Aimee Eubanks Davis
Aimee Eubanks Davis

Aimee Eubanks Davis (Greater New Orleans ’95)
Founder and CEO, Braven
Marie Dandie (Chicago ’13)
Founding Principal and Co-founder, pilotED
Essence 50 Founders To Watch

Essence reports that Black women represent America’s fastest-growing entrepreneurial demographic, despite receiving less than 1 percent of all venture funding for their businesses.

Eubanks Davis’s organization works to empower the next generation of leaders by offering career-readiness courses to college students from underrepresented backgrounds. Participants are also equipped with mentors and campus-based alumni programming.

After successfully launching an afterschool program in Chicago, Dandie and pilotED’s co-founder, Jacob Allen (Chicago ’13), are set to open their first charter school in Indianapolis next school year. Their model is focused around an identity-based curriculum and civic engagement.


Brittany Packnett
Brittany Packnett

Brittany Packnett (D.C. Region ’07)
Vice President of National Community Alliances, TFA
Co-founder, Campaign Zero
Essence: Woke 100

Honored for her firm commitment to ending police violence, Packnett has been named to Essence’s first-ever list of the “Woke 100.” The magazine aimed to recognize women “who are blazing trails for equal rights and inclusion for Black people in America.”

In addition to her work with Campaign Zero, Packnett’s career includes an appointment to President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Read more about Packnett.


T. Morgan Dixon
T. Morgan Dixon

T. Morgan Dixon (Metro Atlanta ’00)
Co-Founder & Chief of Programs, GirlTrek
The Root: 100

GirlTrek aims to enlist one million Black women by 2018 to to be changemakers in their lives and communities—by walking in their neighborhoods. Along with co-founder, Vanessa Garrison, Dixon believes that 30 minutes a day of walking can begin to transform lives and communities.

Dixon is a previous winner of TFA’s Social Innovation Award, and she has also been named one of Outside Magazine’s New Icons in 2017.

Did we miss anyone? If you know a TFA leader who has been recognized like the alumni above, let us know.


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