Kara Keale of Fair Haven has been accepted into Teach For America’s 2012 teaching corps.
Teach For America is the national corps of top recent college graduates and professionals who commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in the pursuit of educational opportunity for all students.
Keale is a 2008 graduate of Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School and 2012 graduate of Villanova University. She joins Teach For America’s 23rd incoming corps, which numbers a record 5,800, and will be teaching in South Carolina this fall.
Keale was selected from a candidate pool of more than 48,000, and is part of one of the most diverse and accomplished corps in Teach For America’s history. Thirty-eight percent of these first-year teachers identify as people of color, including 13 percent who are African American and 10 percent who are Hispanic. Thirty-five percent received Pell Grants (which are most often given to undergraduates with family incomes under $20,000), and 23 percent are the first in their families to earn a college degree. Ninety-eight served as student-body president at their alma mater. Twenty-three percent are graduate students or professionals from a wide range of backgrounds, including veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, financial analysts, nonprofit staffers, consultants, and participants in other AmeriCorps programs.
This fall marks the first time more than 10,000 first- and second-year Teach For America corps members will be teaching in high-need classrooms, representing a 10 percent increase over last year’s total corps size. Together, the 10,000 corps members earned an average undergraduate GPA of 3.55 and represent more than 600 colleges and universities across the nation.
“More than 16 million children are growing up below the poverty line, and unless things change, only 8 percent of them will get through college by the time they’re 24,” said Wendy Kopp, founder and CEO of Teach For America. “Given the progress we’re seeing in schools and districts across the country, we know this is a solvable problem. I’m so inspired by the individuals in our large and diverse corps who have chosen to join the effort to tackle it. With hard work, dedication, and the partnership of their schools and communities, they are poised to make a real difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of students while gaining the perspective and experience necessary for a lifetime of educational leadership and advocacy.”