New York, N.Y., May 18,2018—Teach For America, one of the largest recruiters of Latinx teachers in the nation, announced today that actress and musician Jackie Cruz, Emmy-award-winning journalist Pamela Silva, and renowned influencer Gustavo Gutierrez have joined the organization as Education Ambassadors.They will donate their time and their voices to encourage a new Latinx generation to commit to ending education inequity. Together, they will share stories of the TFA alumni and corps members who serve as educators, administrators, entrepreneurs, and policymakers committed to making a difference in the lives of Latinx students from high-need communities nationwide.
In America today, approximately 25 percent of students in the United States identify as Latinx, compared to only eight percent of teachers. While great teachers can always make a difference in the lives of their students, research suggests that teachers who share the background of their students can have an additional impact as role models and mentors.
Teach For America is a leadership development organization that recruits and supports a diverse network of leaders that make a life-long commitment to expanding educational opportunities for children, beginning with a two-year commitment to teach in low-income communities. With that experience and proximity to the challenges of inequity, they work in classrooms, schools, and every sector that influences education. Committed to recruiting top Latinx leadership from across the country, TFA’s Latinx Alliances provides Latinx corps members and alumni with access to a vast professional network, career development opportunities, and resources that support their work to ensure every child has access to an excellent education.
“We believe it will take many new leaders from Latinx and other diverse backgrounds to ensure that our students receive a quality education that prepares them to reach their full potential,” said Candelario Cervantez. “Our education ambassadors are in the unique position to help us share the impact our corps members and alumni have on their students, and the many ways they lead this work within high-need Latinx communities nationwide.”
Among them are leaders like 26-year-old Priscilla Aguilar Lumbreras in the Rio Grande Valley region, who worked to help her students build strong skills amid and set clear goals despite facing many uncertainties. Yannell Selman founded P.S. 305, a non-profit community organizing project working to ensure that every child in Miami-Dade County receives a high-quality education. Others like Mayra Macias, the political director at the Latino Victory Project, advocate for policy changes and influence public affairs for Latinx communities.
To date, Teach For America has recruited more than 4,300 Latinxs nationwide to serve as teachers, educators, and leaders, of which some of our more than 200 DACA Corps Members and Alumni identify as Latinx.
About Teach For America’s Social Media Ambassadors:
- Jackie Cruz is a Dominican–American actress, musician and former model, known for her role as Marisol "Flaca" Gonzales on the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black. Cruz was born in Queens, New York, and grew up between Los Angeles and Santiago in the Dominican Republic. When she was 17, she was the victim of a car accident where she suffered a collapsed lung, fell into a coma and required brain surgery. OITNB was her first opportunity into Hollywood. She has used her voice on social media to speak about: Planned Parenthood, protection of Trans kids, Women’s rights and has also participated in a recent Billboard Latin Music Conference about Latin activism.
- Pamela Silva is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She is the co-anchor of Univision’s news magazine “Primer Impacto” and a Network News correspondent. She was born in Peru and came to the U.S. when she was a child. In 2013 she established the “Pamela Silva Conde Scholarship” benefitting first-generation, low-income college students. She is a member of the board of directors of Amigos for Kids, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect, and is a national volunteer and spokesperson for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She was also chosen to be part of the inaugural class of the “Women Leadership Council” at Univision, where she now spearheads the speaker series. She is married to Cesar Conde, Chairman of NBCUniversal International Group and NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises.
- Gustavo Gutierrez Magallanes is a Mexican-American lifestyle blogger whose mission is to inform and empower the community. Gutierrez is a multi-media journalist who obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Santa Clara University, and his Master of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Southern California (USC), Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Prior to launching his blog, Gutierrez covered the 2008 Presidential election in Washington, D.C. for Fox News, was a Senior Reporter for Padrisimo Magazine and an Online Reporter for Univision34.com. Gutierrez is a recipient of the Bob Schieffer Award in 2008 and of the Soledad O’Brien Award in 2011.
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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