• Teach For America partners with the Rhode Island Department of Education and local public schools to successfully recruit, develop and retain teachers who reflect the diversity of our state’s students. 

  • One of Rhode Island's greatest assets is the state's sense of community. Community members embraced Teach For America's arrival and we are now all working together to make Rhode Island’s public schools the best in the nation.

About Rhode Island

Since 2010, Teach For America has recruited approximately 120 young professionals to teach here in Rhode Island. Many have chosen to build their careers here, even after completing their corps commitment with Teach For America. And, our alumni network in Rhode Island is growing, with alumni from other regions choosing to continue their involvement in Rhode Island education and to call this state their home.

We understand that providing students with teacher role models who share their background sends an important message to Rhode Island’s young people. It says that we believe in them and understand their needs, and demonstrates their own potential to attend college and have success in their chosen career. Every teacher has an impact on their students, but when a student can identify with their teacher’s background and even more tangibly envision his or her own leadership and success, there is a potential for even more profound influence.

The Rhode Island Department of Education’s strategic plan, Transforming Education in Rhode Island, includes the goal of developing a more diverse corps of great teachers and school leaders. Teach For America can partner with the state to incentivize teacher preparation programs to design recruitment, admission and training processes with the specific goal of attracting and preparing teachers from diverse backgrounds to meet the needs of students and families.

By recruiting outstanding individuals to teach in our schools, Teach For America- Rhode Island is also working to increase the number of Rhode Islanders who have the commitment, perspective and experience that comes from teaching in under-resourced communities.

Today, over 150 alumni across the state are working in a variety of sectors to lead and support efforts to end educational inequity. The overwhelming majority of Teach For America alumni in Rhode Island continue to work in education, with 74 percent of our alumni either working directly in education or in a field that impacts education. They are working as teachers, state and district leaders, principals, assistant principals and instructional coaches. While teaching is the most common profession among our Rhode Island alumni, 98 percent of our alumni do mission-aligned work in education or low-income communities.

Continued partnership and support for Teach For America’s work in Rhode Island will result in the recruitment of greater numbers of high-achieving college graduates and professionals with a passion for social justice to the Rhode Island workforce. This pipeline of talent will work to ensure that students in the state’s highest-need schools have equal access to the educational opportunities necessary to compete in and grow Rhode Island’s economy.


Connect With Us

67 Cedar St. Suite 101
Providence, RI 02903
Tel (401) 519-2699
Fax 401-351-2730

Executive Director

Heather Tow-Yick
Heather Tow-Yick
A fifth-generation Rhode Islander, Heather joined Teach For America in 1998 as a New York corps member.

She has worked as the special assistant to former New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, and as a strategy consultant with The Bridgespan Group, where she served several education nonprofits. Heather is a graduate of Brown University and holds a master’s degree from Columbia University Teachers College and an MBA from MIT. She enjoys spending her free time with her husband, Bill, and black lab, Sawyer.

Regional Stats

Data valid as of: Aug 2014