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Former Soccer Standout: Teach For America 'Pushed Me to Be a Better Leader'
Alisha Woodson (Greater Nashville ’13) is gearing up for her first day at Vanderbilt University, where she will pursue a master’s degree in higher-education administration. It’s a far cry from where she thought she’d be three years ago, when she graduated from Wake Forest University and became a Teach For America corps member.
“I thought I would teach for two years and then do something else,” the former college and U.S. women's under-23 national team soccer player says. “But now, the field of education—and this work in particular—is where I want to be for life.”
A native of San Diego, Alisha fell in love with Nashville, and specifically, the community where she taught. “I chose Vandy because I wanted to stay here,” she says. “I’ve invested in the community, I’ve invested in the children, and I feel very connected to the social change that’s going on here.”
Now she hopes to effect even greater change on a larger scale; she plans to eventually use her degree to establish her own college support program that will serve as a bridge to get kids to and through college.
"It’s not just academics—I see a lot of students, especially first-generation college students, who don’t have the financial literacy or resources to gain college access," she says. "And I know the Teach For America network is going to help me make that happen."
Alisha sat down and talked to us recently about her next career step and how her athletic experience built skills that will help her succeed as a leader.