Teach For America recruits K-State students to teach in low-income schools

Chandrika Brewton | Collegian Michael Shode, senior in family studies and human services, chats about his future with a Teach For America representative.

At a dinner last night, Teach for America reached out to K-State students to make a difference in a child’s education. Teach for America began by addressing the human capital shortage that is seen in lower income schools. The overall mission of the program is to make sure that all kids, no matter their race or socioeconomic status, have the opportunity to gain an excellent education.

Teach For America recruits recent graduate students and professionals who are excited about making sure all youth are able to have educational opportunities. Those who join commit to two years of teaching at low-income schools.

A unique part of the program is that they look to select students from all majors, varying from kinesiology to business, and even dance. Michael Shode, senior in family studies and human services, said he appreciated this opportunity.

“I am interested in this program because it gives me the opportunity to go back and be a teacher, even though I am not an education major,” Shode said.

Recruitment Manager Candace Potter has been recruiting students from K-State for the last year to be a part of this nationwide program. She said that working with K-State students has been a great experience.

“I am always wholly impressed by the commitment to community that K-State students have, and I think that speaks to the quality of students that K-State have but will also make great things happen in the classroom,” Potter said.

As part of her recruitment, Potter hosted a dinner at Houlihan’s for about 20 K-State multicultural students who were interested in the opportunity to reach out and help the youth. The dinner was a very relaxed and open environment where Potter started off by introducing herself and then led a discussion about the goals and objectives of Teach For America.

She opened up the floor for students to express what they thought some of the problems were in low-income schools. Students were not shy to state their opinions. One student said that youth in these low-income schools are normally not being educated by teachers who care about them or who share the same race as them. Potter later elaborated on this comment.

Joseph Perry, junior in sociology and pre-law, said he was excited for the opportunity.

“I want to provide a blueprint for younger kids,” Perry said. “Showing them that is how you become successful, which is something that I never had.”