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Alumni Resources

Alumni Feature: Chad Slife

By The TFA Editorial Team

August 28, 2019

Photograph Of Chad Slife

Why did you join TFA? "I applied to Teach For America in the fall of 2001, at the height of our country recovering from 9/11 and myself reaching a crossroads as what to do after graduating from college. I was a Public Relations major, with minors in Education and Performing Arts. I was on the fast track to a career in PR but after an internship with Nike, my feelings toward the field changed. I needed a career that fulfilled my soul and, most importantly, helped the world go round. After two years of working with inner-city youth through the Troy Camp organization at USC and having several conversations with a friend in his first year of TFA, I decided to apply and the rest is history."

Favorite TFA Memory? "By far, my favorite TFA memory comes from the very hot and humid five weeks spent at Fordham University in the Bronx during Institute the summer of 2002. The relationships I made with my fellow corps members - especially those who joined me as the first cohort in San Francisco Unified School District - and with my fourth grade students at CES/CIS 218 remain dear to me. "

How has TFA impacted you? "I often tell others that I would not be where I am today without Teach for America opening the door for me to find a career in education. I initially thought I would have my first two years teaching with TFA and then move on to another career path, perhaps in broadcast journalism, law, or back to public relations. However, I stayed teaching for six more years before moving into school administration. Now, as an elementary school principal, I have impacted the lives of hundreds of students and am overjoyed as I already am now impacting the second generation of my students. I taught two of the school parents at my current elementary school. Hundreds of my students keep in touch with me via Facebook, email, and even text messages. I feel more than special to have former students who consider me their friend, mentor, and confidant."

Colleges attended:
University of Southern California (B.A., Public Relations)
San Francisco State University (M.A., Educational Administration)
University of California, Berkeley (Tier II Administrative Credential, Leadership Support Program)

Community activities: AIDS/LifeCycle, Mentoring for Success, Certified Spin Instructor, Certified Personal Trainer