Join a community of passionate educators and advocates who are creating opportunities for kids across the Bay Area.
A stark reality exists for too many students in low-income communities here in the Bay. Only nine students in 100 will graduate from college. Pivoting away from a world of luck to a world where every student has access to opportunity is the challenge Teach For America corps members, alumni, and partners are taking on across the Bay Area.
And there is reason to believe this is possible.
The last decade has seen a surge in the number of schools closing the achievement and opportunity gap for students locally and across the country. We have 52 schools locally who are defying the odds for low-income Latino and low-income African American students.
We now have an entire generation of practitioners who have experienced what it looks like—year after year—to graduate 100 percent of their students, and to have more and more of their students graduate from four year colleges. All of these insights and perspectives are informing our lessons about what it will take to accelerate progress. These insights help make it easier:
- to amplify the voices of parents who are demanding great schools for their kids
- to inform policy that’s more responsive to the needs of our students and families
- to allow the next generation of school leaders to make an impact
We are proud to be part of this growing coalition of leaders collectively refusing to accept the status quo and holding higher expectations for our community schools and systems.
Top Schools serving low-income African American and Latinx students (out of 1,275 total schools in the Bay Area)
Low-income Latinx students meet math standards
“When we have outcomes that are as low as we have for low-income kids, I think that’s educational malpractice. And I feel a deep commitment to change that.”
The Lake Merritt neighborhood sits at the center of the city, offering both a bustling commercial center and the eponymous sparkling lake. Residents of this neighborhood can be found running around the stunning waters, perusing Oakland’s largest indie bookstore, or movie-watching at the Grand Lake Theater. Fun fact: In 1870, Lake Merritt was the United States’ first official wildlife refuge!
Fruitvale is a neighborhood in east Oakland, California. Located about two miles southeast of Lake Merritt, this area became a center for the Chicano Movement in the late 1960s and 70s. The community has a solidly preserved and vibrant Hispanic culture. Fun fact: The name (originally Fruit Vale) comes from the many fruit orchards which dominated the area in the late 19th century.
The Iron Triangle is a densely urban neighborhood located in Richmond, California, where three major railroad tracks define its triangle-shaped boundaries – hence the name! Although the centrally located area is largely residential, it includes the downtown Richmond business district along Macdonald Avenue, where the Teach For America Richmond office is located. Fun fact: The Iron Triangle, often times called the heart of Richmond, is celebrated in the novel Richmond Tales by Summer Brenner.
North & East, also known as Central Richmond, is a pleasant Richmond, California, neighborhood filled with charming bungalow homes and shady trees. An affordable alternative to similar neighborhoods in other East Bay communities, N&E offers residents proximity to all the parks, beaches and waterfront activities, as well as a wide choice of nearby retail centers. The Catahoula Café and Coffee Roasting Company is a treasured cafe in the area, and the local library's monthly book sale, the Natural Food Store, a skate park, Angelo’s Gourmet Deli, and the abundant choices between authentic Mexican restaurants are all just some of the beloved community hotspots. North & East has a lively neighborhood council that distributes newsletters and hosts social events.
The Portola and the Excelsior are two adjacent neighborhoods in the Southeastern part of the city. As they are close to many of our schools, they are popular neighborhoods for corps members to live in. Portola/Excelsior are very family-oriented communities with decade-long immigrant culture roots.
“It's such a treat to live here because there are so many delicious Chinese bakeries and street food restaurants.”
- Austen Coles (Bay Area 2016)
Many corps members teach and live in The Mission, the oldest neighborhood in the city. With easy access to public transportation (MUNI and BART) you can easily connect to many other neighborhoods in the San Francisco from The Mission.
I love the Mission because there is so much art, delicious Mexican food, and several parks that people bring their dogs to.
- Elena Sullivan (Bay Area 2017).
In the past, East Side San José was known for its high concentration of orchard fruit—and therefore received the name the Valley of the Heart's Delight. It is remains very unique area with a large Latinx population. Many corps members choose to live in this area as it is home to many of the schools we lead. Home to the Mexican Heritage Plaza and Cesar Chavez’s house, East Side is where you can truly ground yourself in the rich history and fight for justice in San José. Another perk: pan dulce.
Located between Story and Tully roads, Little Saigon is the epicenter of Vietnamese culture in San José (with incredible pho). This area of San José is home to many Asian American immigrant families. These individuals successfully fought to keep their community name during a time when city proposed the name “Vietnam-town.” Similar to the fight to conserve their culture, Little Saigon community members’ resilience and perseverance is present their fight to ensure its students get the opportunity they deserve.
- El Cerrito
- San Leandro
Since 2009 Teach For America Bay Area has been partnering with Chevron in pursuit of expanding opportunities for students in Richmond. As Teach For America Bay Area’s largest corporate partner, contributing nearly $2 million in support of our efforts over the past five years, Chevron is playing a critical role in advancing our mission. Thanks in part to Chevron’s generous and sustained partnership, we have been able to recruit, train, and support 220 teachers to teach in public schools serving Richmond children. Collectively, they have reached approximately 25,000 students growing up in in West Contra Costa county. We have also been able to grow the pipeline of teachers with strong backgrounds in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) to help ensure our kids develop the skills and passion to become the next generation of innovators, problem solvers, and engineers.
“Chevron has been a catalyst for my education equity work in Richmond. It is because of Chevron’s commitment to our community that I and other Teach For America corps members have had the opportunity to work alongside so many other committed educators to ensure that we are moving towards the day when every young person is has an excellent education.”
– Katherine Acosta-Verprauskus (Richmond Corps ’09), Principal of Montalvin Elementary in West Contra Costa Unified School District
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.
Teach For America Bay Area has been proud to partner of Loyola Marymount University (LMU) for more than 15 years to guide all corps members through the teacher credentialing process. LMU has a Bay Area-based team dedicated to working with TFA Bay Area corps members. Corps members take classes once a week during your first year in the classroom to fulfill preliminary credential requirements.
LMU’s teacher preparation program prepares corps members to become an elementary, secondary or diverse learners teacher. Their expert faculty bridge theory and practice, and focus on the role of the teacher as not just an educator, but as a community leader and advocate for all learners.
Teach For America Bay Area partners with more than 25 district and charter schools to place corps members in roughly 100 schools across the Bay Area.