Join a community of committed, connected, and inspired leaders who are creating opportunities for kids in Idaho.
As one of the fastest growing states in the U.S., Idaho is becoming more and more recognized as a desirable place to live due to its low crime rate, affordable cost of living, and abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities. With a statewide population of 1.7 million people and area of 84,000 square miles, Idaho is the 14th largest but 12th least populous state. Drive just one or two hours from the Teach For America office in Nampa and you can find yourself skiing at Bogus Basin Ski Resort, hiking in the Owyhee Mountains, or biking on the Greenbelt along the banks of the Boise River.
Idaho’s education system can, at times, feel as rugged as its landscape. Less than half of all students are proficient in reading and math and less than a quarter of adults in the state have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Looking more closely at Idaho’s student population, there's a disparity in the performance of low-income and Hispanic students compared to their wealthier peers. These statistics only begin to highlight the inequity that exists throughout the state, which since 2007 has ranked last in the country for average annual wage, per-capita income, and wage increases. This trend is expected to continue for the next 10 years, while employers will simultaneously increase their demand for individuals with higher levels of education.
Working to reverse this trend, the response to Idaho’s growing inequity has been strong. In Treasure Valley, coalitions of local districts, foundations, nonprofits, individuals, and businesses have worked to raise awareness and develop innovative solutions. At the statewide level, the governor and state board of education recently headed a task force focused on improving the state's education system. Notably, local organizations are working to provide support for more personalized learning experiences for students and for school leadership training.
Rank for Idaho’s education system (one of the nation’s lowest rankings)
Idaho’s students qualify for free or reduced-priced lunch
Largest math achievement gap in the nation comparing proficiency among White and Latino students.
Adults aged 25 or older who attain a postsecondary degree
“Idaho is my home. As someone who was born and raised here, I can personally speak to the wonderful community that exists in Idaho, which is unique in the way everyone shows up for one another in times of celebration and struggle. We still have work to do, but I believe that in 20 years we will look back and be proud of the educational opportunities that exist for all children here in Idaho.”
Idaho at a Glance
Caldwell is the county seat of Canyon County, and has a population of about 46,000 people. It offers quick access to Boise and the rest of the Treasure Valley and is home to two colleges, golf courses, a greenbelt walking path, bicycle and walking paths throughout the community, and more. Popular attractions include the Canyon County Fair, Caldwell Nigh Rodeo, Caldwell Family YMCA, and the Sunny Slope Wine Trail.
Garden City is a 4.2-square mile urban enclave surrounded by the cities of Boise and Eagle, with a population of about 11,000. The Boise River runs through the city, and the foothills and mountains of the Boise National Forest outline the sky to the north and east. A bourgeoning arts and culture scene attracts residents from across the Treasure Valley to enjoy local wineries, breweries, local restaurants, and arts centers. Garden City is also home to Boise Hawks Baseball and Western Idaho State Fair.
Homedale is a small community of 2,600 people located on the Snake River. The local school district includes an elementary, middle, and high school, and the community is home to several popular community parks, the Owyhee County Fair and Rodeo, and the Homedale Farmers Market. Within minutes residents can enjoy a plethora of outdoor activities, including swimming at Givens Hot Springs, hiking at Jump Creek Canyon, or hunting, fishing, hiking, and photography in the Owyhee Mountains.
Melba is a small farming community of 513 people nestled in the Snake River Valley. It’s surrounded by agricultural lands growing a diverse variety of crops such as potatoes, beans, sugar beets, onions, corn, and grain. Melba is located just 20 minutes south of Nampa, Idaho’s second largest city, and is in close proximity to fishing streams, rivers and mountain lakes, camping, hiking, snow and water skiing, and other outdoor activities.
Nampa is the second largest city in Idaho with a population of about 90,000 people, and is home to the Teach For America Idaho office. It has a small-town feel but offers lots of entertainment including a farmers' market, concerts and rodeos, golf courses, and local restaurants. Located in the middle of Idaho’s wine country, Nampa is a short distance from skiing, rafting, hiking, hunting, and fishing.
Payette is a quiet, tight-knit community of about 7,500 residents. Local amenities include parks, golf courses, and the Harmon Killebrew Miracle Field, a custom-designed field named after a local native and Hall of Fame baseball player. The field gives kids and adults with special needs access to the sport. The nearby Snake River allows outdoor enthusiasts access to hiking, boating, fishing, and more.
Weiser is a small rural community of 5,500 located at the confluence of the Weiser and Snake Rivers. Dubbed the “Fiddling Capital of the World,” it is home to the annual National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest. Weiser’s close proximity to Hells Canyon National Recreation Area makes it a gateway for wilderness and rafting tours, fishing, hiking, and camping.
J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation
Idaho’s largest foundation, the Albertson Family Foundation, has contributed more than $700 million in grants to Idaho communities. The Foundation approached Teach For America to create a site in Idaho and was instrumental in making our launch possible. Our strong partnership supports their mission to invest time, energy, and resources into limitless learning, innovative leaders, and stronger communities.
Boise State University
All corps members are enrolled in graduate-level coursework to meet state certification requirements and help build their educator proficiency. Corps members have the opportunity to take additional courses to obtain a master's degree through the College of Education.
Rural School Leadership Academy
Idaho has a unique partnership with Teach For America's national Rural School Leadership Academy (RSLA) that's designed for those on the pathway to school leadership positions within rural communities. Idaho corps members, alumni, and special partners are given the chance to participate in this year-long program at no cost, during which they learn early school leadership skills and deepen their exposure to the power of the role of principal, while building relationships with a diverse set of aspiring rural school leaders across the country.
Our Regional Partners
We value our partnerships with local schools, districts, universities, businesses, and other organizations. Our partners play a critical role in creating opportunities for children in our communities.
Boise State University
Caldwell School District
- Caldwell High School
- Jefferson Middle School
- Lewis and Clark Elementary
- Syringa Middle School
- Washington Elementary
- Gem Prep: Nampa Charter School
Idaho Arts Charter School
- Idaho Arts Charter ElementarySchool
- Idaho Arts Charter Middle School
Homedale School District
- Homedale Middle School
- Homedale High School
Nampa School District
- East Valley Middle School
- Lonestar Middle School
- Nampa High School
- Park Ridge Elementary
- South Middle School
- Treasure Valley Leadership Academy
- West Middle School
Melba School District
- Melba Junior/Senior High
Payette School District
- Payette High School
- Payette McCain Middle School
- Payette Primary School
Weiser School District
- Weiser High School
- Weiser Primary School