New alumni region aims to fuel regional efforts toward educational equity.
AUSTIN, Texas, October 29, 2019— The Austin area is now home to Teach For America’s first alumni region, led by a newly hired executive director, Christine Nishimura (Teach For America Los Angeles, ’06.) Nishimura, who has lived in Austin since 2009, will lead the region’s efforts to galvanize the alumni base in the region and strengthen ties with the community, schools, and local leaders.
Currently, over 800 Teach For America alumni are working throughout Austin to expand opportunities for students. Among that alumni leadership force, over 80 percent work in roles impacting education or low-income communities. For more than a decade, alumni have been deeply engaged in the Austin education scene without TFA full-time staff support. In 2008, alumni leaders took a step towards formalizing their network by establishing a board, making it the first TFA alumni board in the organization.
“Thanks to the vision and tenacity of this group, we are proudly embarking on a new phase as Teach For America establishes a formal presence in Austin,” said Christine Nishimura, director of the TFA Austin alumni region. “Despite progress, students in the Austin region, and across Texas, face great needs. This, coupled with the growing scale of our alumni community makes this moment tremendously important. Unlike other regions, TFA Austin will not place first or second year corps members. Instead, TFA Austin will play a pivotal role as a community hub – connecting our diverse network of alumni to share ideas, increase collective impact and fuel progress.”
Nishimura began her career teaching as a TFA corps member at Aspire Public Schools in Huntington Park, CA. Later, while attending law school at the University of Texas in Austin, she partnered with other TFA alumni to create a restorative justice program at Webb Middle School in Austin ISD. Nishimura has also served as an attorney for Disability Rights Texas and most recently at the Texas Charter Schools Association before taking on the role as the director for the TFA Austin alumni region.
Teach For America has been part of the Texas fabric since 1991, when the first corps members came to the Rio Grande Valley and Houston regions. Today, the organization also has a presence in Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio in addition to alumni leading in Austin and nearly every corner of the state. Sustained partnerships between district leaders, the community, donors and family members, have enabled Teach For America to play a contributing role in increasing student outcomes including graduation rates and student achievement.
About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with urban and rural communities in more than 50 regions across the country to expand educational opportunity for children. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding leaders to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Today Teach For America is a force of nearly 60,000 alumni and corps members committed to profound systemic change. From classrooms to districts to state houses across America, they’re reimagining education to realize the day when every child has an equal opportunity to learn, to grow, to influence, and to lead. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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