Meet the 2022 Black Education Promise Fellowship Cohort
January 23, 2023
Angelica Jackson is a 4th year elementary school teacher based in Brooklyn, New York and will be teaching fifth grade during the 2022-2023 school year. In order to create a learner-centered space that supports, uplifts, and empowers all children culturally, academically, socially, and emotionally, Angelica seeks to continuously develop and strengthen her teacher pedagogy and practices. Some strengths she developed over the years are teaching social-emotional awareness and skills, restorative practices, adaptive instruction, leading and co-leading school level projects, culturally responsive practices, the development of high quality and informative IEPs, and fostering collaborative partnerships.
While continuously developing her teacher toolbox, Angelica continues to engage in various leadership opportunities in order to further develop her leadership skills. During the last two years, Angelica was a member of the School Leadership Team, she led planning and resource creation for the 4th grade writing curriculum, she was a testing coordinator and she created her own after school program within the school. Angelica looks forward to joining the School Implementation Team this coming school year and she is excited to be a 2022 BEP Fellow.
Betzabel Vazquez is a spirited, passionate Providence native who has a passion to learn and make a difference in her community. She has worked in various fields in education to gain a better understanding of the educational landscape across the U.S. and how she can actively work to improve it. She hopes to continue to gain more opportunities where she can do what she truly loves, which is engage with students and create a curriculum where students truly feel seen and heard. Currently, Betzabel works at Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy as a 6th grade English teacher and grade-level lead.
“Teaching with Artist Glasses”
Having completed 3 years as an ECE teacher for Baltimore City Schools, Bianca Cunningham is beginning the SY 22-23 as a Kindergarten Teacher for Baltimore County Public School district. Bianca comes with a unique teaching perspective as having been fully vested in two very different lives. In her first life, she has graced professional stages in NYC, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Kansas City, and Hampton, VA. By her sophomore year of undergrad, she moved behind the camera and became a TV/Film Producer for several independent films and shows. She has worked for The Disney Channel, BET, TV-One, CBS, and ABC networks, including being apart of the production team for the 2006 and 2007 Oscars Red Carpet Experience. After over 15 years in the entertainment industry, Bianca wanted to make a different kind of impact in the world…pouring into the lives of children. Thus began the beginning of her educational journey.
She began by serving as the Drama Teacher of an after-school program in NYC for five years, while simultaneously serving as a Pre-K Paraprofessional Teacher at The Renaissance Charter School. Receiving her Standard Teaching Certification through being a Teach for America 2019 alum, she taught three years in Baltimore City Schools as a Pre-K, 1st Grade, and Kindergarten Teacher. Because teachers bring who they are to the classroom, Bianca uses arts integration as a supplementary companion to her curriculums, which has led her students to achieve above grade level test scores in both literacy and math! Through teaching with an artists’ glasses, she has realized that guiding students to connect art to life and academics offers them a strong foundation in resilience, determination, and advocacy for their own learning. Encouraging her students to embrace their creativity has and continues to empower them in multiple areas of their personal and college and career readiness journey. She looks forward to working with and being a part of the TFA BEP fellowship to continue to grow and thrive as the best educator she can be for her students.
I am originally from northeast Georgia but attended college at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University in Huntsville, Alabama in December of 2018. I joined Teach for America in 2019 and gained the opportunity to become an educator in the great state of South Carolina. I received my Master of Education degree in Teaching and Learning from Francis Marion University in May 2021. I've embarked upon my fourth year of teaching at Lake City High School in Lake City, South Carolina and am looking forward to growing as an educator at my school as well as through this Fellowship.
I was born and raised in Prince Georges County Maryland to Kimla Milburn and Michael Milburn Sr. I am the oldest of 3 children and I attended DeMatha Catholic High School. From there I went on to receive a full athletic scholarship to the University of Delaware where I majored in Mass Communications with a minor in Journalism while playing wide receiver for the Fightin Blue Hens. I spent my first 5 years out of college in the business world working for different industries like car rental, pharmaceuticals, even B2B sales. In the end I came to my truth, that I needed to find work that I loved no matter the pay. I have always loved teaching, learning, and spending time with youth so teaching felt like a natural fit.
I left the business world to join Teach or America Greater Philadelphia Region in 2018 and was placed in North Philadelphia at Alliance for Progress Charter School. I immediately fell in love with my kids and the work that is being a middle school math teacher. Now 5 years later I now find myself in my 5th year of teaching 7th grade math and my second year teaching in New Orleans. It is my belief that education is the most valuable currency that one can posses in this current world, so everyday I aim to educate my scholars as an act of liberation not assimilation. This is why I teach!
I am currently a 5th Grade English Language Arts Teacher. This is my fourth year as a 5th Grade teacher but I am no stranger to the educational field. Before teaching, I was a substitute teacher for over 6 years. I substituted while earning my Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Social Work. I have worked in many different fields in Social Work including the Child Study Team, Drug and Alcohol Counseling, At risk Juveniles, Mental Health, and Children with Autism (verbal & non verbal). I love sparking the love of learning that is inside every child and I believe learning should be fun but also challenging! My philosophies on teaching are "Every student can learn, just not on the same day, or in the same way." & "Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all."
My name is Mr. Parrish Amos, and I am a Lead First Grade Teacher and Grade Level Team Lead for First Grade for the 2022-2023 school year at Ethos Classical Charter School in Atlanta. Throughout my life, I have enjoyed working in education, specifically Elementary & Special Education. This is my fourth year teaching and my second year at Ethos Classical. I have taught 3rd through 5th grade ELA and Math for two years in Saint Louis Public Schools. Last Year, I was the Lead Special Education Teacher for 2nd and 5th Grade at Ethos. I have a Master’s degree in Elementary and Special Education from the University of Missouri-St.Louis, and a Bachelor’s degree in English Studies and Professional Writing from Eastern Illinois University.
Rachelle A. Duroseau
My name is Rachelle, and I am an alumna of the Teach for America Orlando 2018 Corps. I am in my fifth year teaching Kindergarten at my placement school. I’m passionate about advocating for the needs of children living in under-resourced and historically marginalized communities. Filling the role of educator (especially at this moment in history) has been both challenging and incredibly invigorating. I am honored to be a BEP Fellow, and am eager to learn how to leverage the knowledge and resources I will gain from this experience to reinforce and inform my work as an ally and advocate of our country’s most racially and economically disadvantaged communities.
Sabrina Simpson is a passionate educator and traveler. Born and raised in Chicago, IL she’s had many opportunities to learn outside of her hometown. Sabrina graduated from Bennett College for Women with a B.S. in Elementary Education and a Minor in Global Studies. During her time at Bennett College, she became a UNCF Walton K-12 Fellow, a Benjamin Gilman Scholar, and a Generation Teach Fellow. Sabrina is a Teach For America Indianapolis alumni and currently enrolled at Bowie State University in pursuit of an M.Ed. She is currently entering her 4th year as a classroom teacher in Indianapolis, IN.
I am a 2019 TFA (Teach for America) Corp member entering my fourth year of my teaching career as a high school Special Education Teacher. I currently teach at a high school in Manhattan as a student Advisor, self-contained ELA teacher and Special Education teacher in an integrated co-teaching environment. If I were to describe myself both personally and professionally, I would say I have the mindset of self-advocacy, high expectations and quite recently, to be exact as a result of my reflections teaching during the pandemic, I added the mindset of intentionality. One of my greatest achievements of which I am most proud of was graduating in August of 2021 from Relay Graduate School of Education with a Master of Art in Teaching with academic honors.
I was privileged to attend a workshop hosted by Gholdy Muhammad who authored the book, “Cultivating Genius.” Gholdy in her book stated that, “For Educators it is important for us to push back on standards and practices that are not aligned to what student need most.” (Muhammad, pg. 68) In her book, she also stated that students of color should see themselves in the text that they read, including their identities, interests, culture and their own future selves and not what others portray them to be. As an Educator, it is my belief that I have that unique opportunity in both my personal and professional life to effect change in our communities, to disrupt the status quo and to provide educational equity for our students. My personal and professional plans now and for the future are to ensure that I am using my mindsets of advocacy, high expectations and intentionality to help propel, and promote our students to becoming high achievers regardless of the social odds against them. I strongly live by this belief that, “there is nothing in life that you cannot achieve, just the limits that we put on ourselves.”
Tasean D. Baldwin (Sean) is an English Educator, born and raised in Charlotte, NC. In 2018, he received his B.S. in Business Administration/Management from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, where he was also inducted into the Delta Mu Delta International Business Honor Society, and the Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society. In 2018, Sean joined the Teach For America NYC Corp. During his time as a corp member, he taught middle school ELA, and obtained a Masters of Arts in Teaching - Secondary Adolescent ELA (7-12) from Relay Graduate School of Education in 2020. He was also inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education. In 2021, he obtained an Advanced Certificate in Special Education, also from Relay Graduate School of Education. Sean is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Literacy at St. John’s University. During his time in NYC, he taught middle school ELA in the Bronx, where he also held many leadership and collaborative roles, such as Testing Coordinator, MSQI Coordinator, Training Facilitator, Team Lead, and Instructional Leadership Team member. He also served as a Mentor with the GEAR UP program at St. John’s University, focusing on increasing college and career readiness for low-income students.
Sean’s desire to have an impactful, meaningful legacy as an educator has led him back to his hometown of Charlotte, where he will be teaching high school ELA. He has dedicated his life, talents, and career to making effective change in educational policy, improving education equality, and fighting for educational equity for all students. He has been a member of various organizations, such as New York Urban League Young Professionals, where he served as Fund Development Co-Chair for the 2020-22 term. He served as a Team Lead with New York Cares, a member of NYC Men Teach, and a member of Mastermind Connect. Sean is also a poet and writer, has self-published four poetry books, and currently has many other writing projects underway. Poetry and creative writing is the platform that he uses to deliver his messages to the world. Sean also enjoys reading, spending time with his family and friends, and also serving the community through various projects.
Wesley Simmons is a passionate educator who graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He loves shaping and curating the world around him, constantly striving to unlock the minds and hearts of those he comes into contact with. Throughout life, his sole reason for being is to experience the gift of learning and share it with others open to receiving. Through all his mediums of creative expression, he channels the spirit of transformation and brings it to life when possible.