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By 2030, twice as many children growing up in poverty dense communities across Michigan will reach key educational milestones indicating that they are on a path to economic mobility and co-creating a future filled with possibility.  

Understanding the Challenge in Michigan 

Four hundred thousand Michigan students are growing up in poverty and attend a school where nearly every other student is also growing up in poverty. Where poverty is dense, opportunity and economic mobility is limited. Students in these schools are half as likely to read by third grade, do grade-level math in eighth grade, and are less likely to be college ready when they graduate. Black students are four times more likely to grow up in a poverty-dense community and attend a high-poverty school.

We are systematically limiting economic mobility and opportunity for hundreds of thousands of children growing up in Detroit and across Michigan.

Our Priorities: 2021-2024

Priority 1: Teach For America Detroit recruits, onboards, develops, and connects diverse, high-impact teachers and the next generation of leaders, as well as helps to strengthen their commitment to students in Detroit and Michigan.

Priority 2: Our network will lead and contribute to proof-point classrooms and schools, where twice as many students are on-track and reaching key academic milestones.

Priority 3: Our network will drive systemic change by modeling and advocating for equitable and outcome-focused policies and practices that ensure all students can make meaningful and sustainable academic progress.

Our Progress: 2020-2021

Priority 1: To increase our scale while also increasing our diversity


% of TFA teachers identify as BIPOC


% of TFA teachers identify as Black

Priority 2 : Contribute to the leadership pipeline through investment in middle leadership


High-performing alumni fellows


Fellows on track to National Board Certification

Priority 3: Develop highly effective educators


% of teachers rated by their principals as performing stronger than other educators with similar experiences


% of principals would hire a TFA corps member or fellow again

Learn more about the TFA Detroit Fellowship opportunities.

Alumni Leadership Profiles 

DJ Cherif

Djeneba Cherif

Detroit '11

Director of Curriculum & Instruction, K-12 Mathematics

University Prep Schools

Teach For America Detroit alum Djeneba Cherif is responsible for developing the instructional vision, priorities, and performance metrics for K-12 mathematics at one of the first and largest charter networks in Detroit. In 2021 she was named Corp! Magazine’s overall winner of the Most Valuable Millennial award.

Monica Rodriguez

Monica Rodriguez

Detroit '11

Director of Children and Youth Services

City of Detroit, Mayor’s Office

Teach For America Detroit alum Monica Rodriguez is helping expand the city’s ability to shape child-centered education policy. She was named one of Crain’s Detroit Business Twenty in Their 20s in 2018. 

Jack Elsey

Jack Elsey

New York '05

Executive Director

Detroit Children’s Fund

Teach For America New York City alum Jack Elsey leads one of the largest Detroit nonprofits focused on high-potential investments to expand successful schools, improve lower performing schools, and discover and develop talented educators so that every child in Detroit has the opportunity to receive an excellent education.

Emilio Rodriguez

Emilio Rodriguez

Detroit '12


Black and Brown Theatre

Teach For America Detroit alum Emilio Rodriguez leads Black and Brown Theatre, an organization focused on addressing inequity in casting the professional Michigan theatre scene and creating more opportunities for students and theatre members of color. Emilio was named one of The Kresge Foundation’s 2018 Kresge Artist Fellows.