What we do isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes grit. We fight for every math problem solved, every diploma earned, and every opportunity created. It is hard. Frustrating. Demanding. But we’ve never stopped. Not once in 10 years. We rally with our kids. We swing for our schools. We dig deep for our communities. We lock arms and we lead. Because we aren’t done until every single student has an equal chance at the life they want.
In 2008, Teach For America came to Kansas City ready to tackle education inequity head-on. We were on a mission to build a diverse network of leaders who would fiercely champion, advocate, and teach our youth. Along the way, we were met with heart! And a whole lot of it.
We locked arms with Kansas City and rallied year after year. Thanks to our loyal community of partners, funders, and advocates, we're celebrating 10 years strong in Kansas City.
In the last decade, we believed, we pushed, we united, and we've had some impressive accomplishments, including:
- Welcomed more than 800 corps members who have led over 150,000 pre-k through 12th-grade students in high-need classrooms.
- The past two Kansas City Public Schools District Teacher of the Year recipients—Derrik Wiggins and Arjun Ravindran—have been Teach For America Kansas City alumni.
- The 2015-16 class of ninth graders at Ewing Marion Kauffman School (EMKS) achieved 98 percent proficiency on the state biology end-of-course test, outscoring peers across Missouri. That same year’s eighth grade class was top in the state in math and third in the state in science. EMKS was founded by alumnus Hannah Lofthus and over 50 percent of its team is Teach For America alumni and corps members.
- University Academy became the first public charter school in Missouri to be named a National Blue Ribbon School from 2013-17. Forty percent of their teachers, leadership, and staff are Teach For America corps members or alumni.
- Teach For America alumnus Lauren Arthur became an elected official in Missouri, representing District 18 in the Missouri House of Representatives and just recently won a special election for Missouri’s Senate seat.
At this moment in time, Teach For America Kansas City, along with our schools, community partners, and state, is working to ensure we have leadership necessary at every level to provide all students in Kansas City with the educational opportunities they deserve.
As Mayor Sly James said,“The thing about Kansas City that makes it important, that makes it special, is the fact the we’ve learned to work together. If we don’t work together, big things can’t be accomplished.”
That’s why we need you. Stand with us by applying to the corps, sponsoring our efforts, or visiting a classroom to see our alumni leaders in action. Kansas City students deserve the opportunity to attain an excellent education and we look forward to having you join us in our mission.