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Alumni Feature: Joey Maxwell

I think about my kids every day and always remember how much is possible with hard work and a smile.

Joey Maxwell

By The TFA Editorial Team

March 4, 2016

Joey Maxwell (‘13), Atlanta, GA

Commercial Risk Advisory, Sterling Risk Advisors

Why did you join TFA: I joined Teach For America because education is truly the civil rights issue of today. For a child in the United States to not have access to a great education is a travesty and as Americans, we should hold ourselves to a higher standard in granting all children the opportunity to receive a great education. In today’s extremely competitive society, one cannot hope to be successful without having received a high level of education. However, knowledge doesn’t just open doors for a better career, it opens doors to a better life. Knowledge leads to discovery, to travel, and to endless opportunities. For anyone to not have access to all of the great possibilities that come from a great education is unacceptable.

Favorite TFA Memory: My favorite TFA memory happened to be on my last day of teaching. Three of my students from the first year I taught came up to me and presented me with a number of gifts. The first of which was a jar full of Oreo's, which they knew was my favorite snack. The second was a picture of our class. However, the most important piece of the gift was the letter that all three had written me stating that I had changed their lives. All three girls had gotten into some of the top-ranked magnet programs in the district. I don't know if that feeling of pride and purpose will ever be equaled.

How has TFA impacted you: TFA opened my eyes to the world. Many of the battles our kids endure in low-income communities are difficult and sometimes truly unbelievable. It's easy from the outside to aggregate them into populations such as at-risk or low-income. However, despite all the difficulties my kids endured, they still entered my classroom every day with a healthy dose of optimism and an eagerness to learn. I think about my kids every day and always remember how much is possible with hard work and a smile.

College Attended: Clemson University

Community Activities: Midtown Atlanta Rotary Club, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, The Fund For American Studies Alumni Council, Teach For America Metro Atlanta Alumni Council.