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TFA Appalachia Announces New Alumni Fellowship

Teach For America launches new alumni leadership development fellowship across Central Appalachia

View of mountains at sunset with trees

By Kari Cornett and Samantha Richardson

January 20, 2022

Teach For America Appalachia announces the launch of the Central Appalachia Alumni Leaders (CAAL) Fellowship, aimed at any TFA alumni who harbors a passion for driving toward collective impact in the mountain communities of Central Appalachia. Selected fellows will receive a financial award of $7,500 (taxable) disbursed over the three years of the Fellowship experience. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis through July 29, 2022. 


“Alongside the tremendous impact TFA Appalachia teachers are making within their communities, the region will also require a robust pipeline of top talent across many other sectors and industries in order to achieve both TFA Appalachia's 10-year goal and the region's aspired bright future. Meaningful, sustainable systems change in Central Appalachia requires the focus of leaders who are committed to authentic community partnership, who are familiar with both the challenges and the opportunities, and who deeply believe in the potential of our region. We're excited to tap into TFA's robust network of 68,000 alumni to leverage this unique opportunity for alumni leadership. ”

Samantha Richardson

Director, Appalachian Talent Initiatives, Teach For America Appalachia

The fellowship seeks to keep already-rooted alumni leaders in the Central Appalachia region while also recruiting additional alumni from across the country to relocate in our beautiful and close-knit communities. Over the course of the three-year leadership development fellowship, awardees across all sectors and industries, from healthcare to business to entrepreneurship to technology and more, will grow deep roots in their communities and will shift national narratives to the power, possibility, and potential of our region. During this time, fellows will develop and act on their personal theories of change as motivated community leaders while working shoulder-to-shoulder with local and regional leaders. 

CAAL fellows will live and work within the TFA Appalachia geographic region, spanning designated counties in West Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Northeast Tennessee, and Eastern Kentucky. Both TFA alumni who currently reside in the region and those who are interested in relocating are eligible to apply. 

In addition to the financial award, CAAL fellows will receive and participate in:

  • A personalized learning plan, comprised of a tailored ecosystem of leadership development opportunities grounded in the fellowship's core pillars
  • Direct, quarterly executive coaching throughout the three-year fellowship term
  • Engagement and networking with a cohort of peers
  • Support in identifying and accessing stackable public and/or private dollars and benefits to supplement the financial award
  • Relocating fellows who are not recipients of employer-provided relocation assistance are also eligible for a one-time supplemental award of up to $5,000
  • Relocating fellows will receive customized support in building a vibrant community in Central Appalachia

Any Teach For America alumnus who has successfully completed their corps commitment and is willing to commit to living and working full-time for three years in the TFA Appalachia region is eligible to apply. Review all eligibility specifications and an overview of the application process on our website. Positions are awarded on a rolling, first-come, first-served basis until funds run out. We anticipate 5-10 CAAL Fellowship positions will be awarded in this inaugural year. 

Apply early to secure your spot as a CAAL Fellow!

For any questions about the CAAL Fellowship, get in touch with Sam Richardson (, Fellowship Director, or attend an upcoming information session.