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Life as a Corps Member

Meet our 2019 Indianapolis Corps

Meet our 2019 Indianapolis corps members, who join a network of 700+ TFA leaders collectively building towards a more vibrant and just city.

2019 Indianapolis corps

August 7, 2019

With the quiet hum of the fan in the background of IPS Clarence Farrington 61's cafeteria, where Orientation had recently kicked off, a corps member stood up to share affirmation for his growing relationship with a peer.

"Some days were rough days, but his best days were always after we had a conversation the night before to unpack."

This theme of supporting and seeing one another through times of trial and challenge resonated across the shoutouts during Orientation, a week after our 2019 corps members returned from their five-week summer training at Houston Institute. This sense of community is fundamental to the corps experience, as we seek to foster within our 700+ member network a thriving and diverse coalition of leaders united in values, strategically aligned, and actively engaged in creating a more vibrant and just Indianapolis. Sixty-eight percent of our new corps members come from outside of Indiana, representing 21 states and 43+ colleges and universities, and 40% identify as people of color.

Combined with our 2018 corps, 120+ TFA corps members are leading classrooms across 40+ public schools in the fall, teaching PreK-12 and a wide range of subjects including STEM education, a high-need area that 65% are teaching.

Get to know a few of our 2019 corps members below:

Parker Michel

Founding 9th Grade Pre-AP World History Teacher
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Undergrad: University of Kentucky

What I did before joining TFA: I worked at an elementary school in Lexington, KY for three years while earning my degree in history.
Why I joined TFA: I have wanted to be a teacher since I was six, and college opened my eyes to a lot of the educational problems in our country. I joined TFA because I firmly believe that every single child in this country is deserving of an excellent education, no matter their socio-economic status.

 

Joe House

7th Grade Math Teacher
Hometown: Lafayette, Indiana
Undergrad: Wabash College
What I did before joining TFA: I just graduated from Wabash College in May of 2019 where I studied Economics and played baseball.
Why I joined TFA: I joined TFA for a few reasons. One, I love working with kids! Two, I want a career where I can make an impact and a difference in the lives of those around me, and TFA is the perfect opportunity for both of those!

Megan Kostolansky

Spanish Teacher
Hometown: Lafayette, Indiana
Undergrad: University of Notre Dame
What I did before joining TFA: I studied Psychology and Spanish at Notre Dame, planning (and still planning) to pursue law after graduation.
Why I joined TFA: I joined TFA because I have always been interested in Human Rights and the gaps that still exist within our nation and world. So many people think we're beyond battles of Civil/Human Rights, but we still have SO far to go. During a summer of teaching English in the Dominican Republic, I discovered teaching as a way to roll up my sleeves and really take a hands-on approach toward closing that gap.

Rickey Jones

9th Grade Biology Teacher
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Undergrad: Purdue University
What I did before joining TFA: I was a graduate student at Tiffin University.
Why I joined: I joined TFA because I have a deep and grounded passion for inner-city work. Growing up in the IPS school district I saw first hand how unequal the quality of education I was receiving compared to my relatives who attended other schools. Lastly, TFA mission and core values align very near and dear to what I believe will be a reality and that is all children will receive an equal educational experience. 

Vivian Heerens

7th Grade ELA Teacher
Hometown: Carmel, IN
Undergrad: University of Miami
What I did before joining TFA: I was earning my Bachelor of Science in Communication and worked as a Student Ambassador for its Office of Undergraduate Admission.
Why I joined: As I was looking into post-graduate opportunities, I knew I wanted and needed to pursue a career of meaning and impact. Discovering TFA was that magic moment for me that changed my path and brought me to this movement. TFA’s vision and core values guide and inspire me, and the work I get to engage in every day aligns with my passions and belief in every student and the need to solve the inequities occurring in our education system.

40%

People of Color

35%

First in Family to Attend College

68%

From Out-of-State

65%

STEM Teachers