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Putting All Children on a Path to Success

Sehba Ali (Houston ‘98) believes children’s zip codes should not limit their educational opportunities.

By Sehba Ali

March 5, 2019

A Child’s Educational Experience in America

For children growing up in America, their educational opportunities are very dependent on the zip code in which they live. Sehba Ali (Houston ‘98) is part of a movement of leaders working to change this reality. As a Teach For America alum and the CEO of KIPP Texas, she’s leading a school system that gives children growing up in low-income communities the academic and enrichment opportunities they need to lead a successful life.

The educational experience of a child in America is very dependent on the zip code in which they live. By the time and place of their birth, their educational opportunities and path, unfortunately, is often determined for them. And that’s just not okay. It's not acceptable. It's not what we believe at Teach For America or at KIPP. And so, we really have to create a new path for them.

We believe we can change that by thinking about every single child that we educate, by creating an environment that's incredibly caring and loving and nurturing, and by putting our children on a path that challenges them and that gives them opportunities and that enriches their experience so that they have both the academic skills and the character skills that they need to lead a choice-filled life. And this is very aligned with Teach For America's theory of change.

One day all children will have this opportunity so that they can go and be productive citizens in our society.