Join a diverse community of resilient leaders overcoming challenges through perseverance, ingenuity, and commitment to each other. We invite you to #RiseAndRumble with us in Oklahoma City and Lawton to create a brighter tomorrow for our future generations.
Make an Impact in Oklahoma City and Lawton
You come to the Oklahoma City and Lawton communities to join a network committed to catalyzing change, operating with a spirit of generosity otherwise known as the Oklahoma Standard. A part of our region's DNA is to give until there’s no more to give. There is something special about the way our community rallies around one another whether that is around tragedy, challenge, team, or growth.
Currently, our region supports 88 corps members, over 100 alumni teaching or working in education, and 15 staff members. The majority of our corps teaches in Oklahoma City. We also have a growing presence in Lawton where 100 percent of Lawton’s 2014 charter corps members remained for a third-year as alumni. Subsequent corps members there received public recognition by President Obama for work with the Comanche Nation.
The educational equity ecosystem in our state is poised to make phenomenal progress for children in poverty over the next several years. Teach For America Oklahoma City is proud to be a part of driving that change in our partner communities. Our corps enjoys amazing community support from local business, philanthropists, and the education community in schools and districts.
North East OKC's third graders failed their state reading test.
Oklahoma City's Hispanic students attended a failing school (based on the state report card).
“My family is here, and I am committed to OKCPS—that’s why I returned after working for six years in Camden, New Jersey, where I originally served as a Teach For America corps member.”
Oklahoma City at a Glance
Centrally located in the city, this neighborhood boasts two full-sized Asian super markets and a multitude of locally owned and internationally themed cafes, bakeries, and restaurants. From the hidden gem Café Cacao, to the giant Lee’s Sandwiches, and the trendy Classen Coffee Company, here are so many great places to meet, mingle, and dine.
Formerly an end-stop on the Oklahoma City trolley system, the Plaza District first appeared on the city’s map in the 1920s as a commercial niche along 16th St. Since that time, the Plaza District has become a hub of art, music, and creativity and a haven for local business. You'll find boutique shopping, coffee at District House, yoga in a roomy studio, and what may become your go-to pizza joint, Empire. Plus fro-yo and a number of pubs/bars make for a great hangout neighborhood.
James Cross, a ’13 Oklahoma City Alumus, says,
The Plaza has been my home for three years now, and it truly feels like home. I have established great relationships with the owners/employees at local favorites like The Mule and DNA Galleries, and they always make you feel welcome. It's great to live so close to such a unique and beautiful sub-community of OKC where I can go out on a Friday and catch up on work on a Saturday at District House.
Newly revamped and continuing to grow, uptown is the place to be for an evening of pub crawling, taking in a movie or a concert at the newly renovated Tower Theater, or strolling through the quiet neighborhood and parks just behind. You can also enjoy bagels at Old School Bagel Cafe, warm up with a hot drink at Urban Tea House, and get mini massage and haircut at the posh Walk In Salon. Don’t forget incredible flavors from Pizzeria Gusto (plus brunch!) and tater tots you can’t say no to at the outdoor Pump Bar.
Where else can you go to see 22 galleries and over 80 visual, culinary, and performing artists all within a couple blocks? The Paseo Arts District, lined in Spanish Revival architecture, has long been the destination of choice for lovers of art and entertainment. Each year you can also spend the weekend at the Paseo Arts festival enjoying art, crafts,food, and live entertainment.
Located just north of the central business in downtown Oklahoma City, Midtown is home to some of the city’s most distinct shopping including a shoe lab, men’s accessories, craft/paper store, and bookstore; you'll also find restaurants and bars with rooftop access, and professional services. If that isn’t enough for you, Midtown also hosts the largest annual food truck event in the United States with H&8th Night Market each summer. This is also an area you can find the best local bakery in town (and a new addition: Insomnia Cookie!) Rent some bikes to burn off those delicious treats with the OKC bike share program or try you hand at bowling in Fassler Hall. Feeling earthy? You can also spend time at the dog park or community garden.
Lawton is Oklahoma’s third largest city and home to Fort Sill, one of the largest army bases in the country making it both diverse and close-knit. Corps members in Lawton serve a large military family community and an area with a rich Native history. It is also the home of the Comanche, Apache, and Kiowa Nations. Lawton is next door to the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, the oldest in the U.S., and one of the state’s premier playgrounds for outdoors enthusiasts with more than 100,000 acres to hike, climb, and explore.
Erika Lucas is a Teach For America Board member and founder of StitchCrew. She founded StitchCrew and partnered with the OKC Thunder to launch an accelerator program because she strongly believes that most of the pressing challenges we face today will not be solved through policy or traditional mindset, but by disruptive technologies, bold entrepreneurs and open collaboration. Learn more at: https://www.stitchcrew.com/
Since 1946, the Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City has worked to bring social and economic equality to impoverished citizens in their community. Their mission is to assist African Americans, other minorities, and the poor achieve social and economic equality. They work to accomplish this mission through advocacy, research and program services in five major areas:
Center for Employment Opportunities - Oklahoma City
Located on the Southside of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) is a leader in serving the adult education and job readiness needs of the community's diverse members. With programming that includes computer skills training, Internet knowledge, resume writing, and job interview preparation, most of which are provided in a multitude of languages, the center continually evolves its offerings to respond to community needs. The OCCC Family and Community Education (FACE) Center also offers a host of other classes. Students who attend OKCC can enroll their children around their class schedule, whether it is in the mornings or the evenings. Other programs at the center include summer camps for children in first through eighth grades; adult enrichment classes such as dance, languages, computers, and music, and ACT preparation workshops.
Oklahoma Community Service Commission
We are proud to partner with the Oklahoma Community Service Commission. The Oklahoma Community Service Commission currently administers 8 AmeriCorps programs varying from intensive tutoring, mentoring, and teaching in Title One schools and community-based organizations to poverty alleviation through economic opportunity and food security programs. For the 2016-17 program year, 734 AmeriCorps Members are serving throughout Oklahoma in 39 school districts and over 45 non-profit and community organizations state-wide. Please learn more about the important work AmeriCorps members are doing for Oklahomans.