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Honoring 20 Years of Impact

Our community came together virtually to honor two decades of TFA Greater Chicago-Northwest Indiana’s history. We celebrated our 3,400 corps members and alumni who work tirelessly to expand educational opportunities for students. 

Students and Teachers at Chicago Institute

May 12, 2020

Given the coronavirus pandemic, we pivoted our 20th anniversary benefit dinner to a live virtual gathering, bringing together Teach For America Greater Chicago-Northwest Indiana corps members, alumni, supporters, partners, and friends. 

You can view a full recording of the program here and explore each portion of the program below. We were inspired by the conversation between alumni Justin Pitts ('13)  and Jennifer Dixon ('02). Justin, an algebra and AP physics teacher at Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy, expressed his appreciation for his fellow educators. “I work amongst incredible educators, so many of them Teach For America alumni and corps members, who are so deeply passionate about our mission. Without them, this work wouldn’t be possible. Without them, I wouldn’t be here today," Justin says. 

Jennifer, who is the principal of Palmer Elementary, shared her hope for her school community. “At Palmer, we’ve already shattered the notion of any boundaries around what’s possible for our kids. We’ve proven this year after year that we know what we need to do to move our students forward toward their goals no matter what the obstacle is," she says. 

John White (New Jersey, '99), former state superintendent of education in Louisiana and former Greater Chicago-Northwest Indiana executive director, shared how critical the leadership of Teach For America and its members is in this moment: “The necessity of Teach For America has never been higher. Teach For America is the nation’s preeminent vehicle for public leadership development and for leadership in public education.” 

Throughout the rest of the year, we will continue to honor the impact of our members and the incredible work they do to expand educational opportunity for students in Chicago and Northwest Indiana. 

Welcome From Aneesh Sohoni

Executive Director Aneesh Sohoni (Twin Cities '09) opens the live event with welcoming remarks.

Welcome From Meg Whitman

Meg Whitman, CEO of Quibi and Teach For America national board chair, shares how critical Teach For America's talent and leadership is in this moment and ongoing.

Honoring Our 2020 Alumni Award Winners

Watch a conversation between alumni Justin Pitts, 2020 Frances and Elliot Lehman Excellence in Teaching Award Recipient, and Jennifer Dixon, 2020 Zell Family Excellence in School Leadership Award Recipient.

Call to Action From John White

John White, who also previously served as executive director of Greater Chicago-Northwest Indiana and Louisiana state superintendent, shares his perspective on the importance of leadership in this moment.

Call to Action From Steve Ritchie

Steve Ritchie, a partner at Kirkland & Ellis and regional board chair at Teach For America Greater Chicago-Northwest Indiana, shares a call to action.