Teach For America has announced that a Santa Monica local has been accepted into the organization’s 2015 teaching corps. Teach For America is a national nonprofit working to expand educational opportunity for students in low-income communities. Corps members commit to teach in high-need urban or rural public schools and become lifelong advocates for educational equity.

AziaCalderhead, a 2011 graduate of Santa Monica High School and a 2015 graduate of University of Oregon, will teach in Baltimore.

“As a teacher, I hope to inspire and advocate for my students in the same way that Kristine Haenschke, Glen Greenfield, and Nathan Fulcher did for me while I was a student in Santa Monica,” she said.

In our country’s lowest-income communities, just 6 percent of students will graduate college by the time they’re 25. Azia joins a network of 50,000 corps members and alumni working alongside parents, principals, and communities for positive change.

“It is with incredible excitement we welcome this group of remarkable and diverse corps members,” said Elisa Villanueva Beard, co-CEO of Teach For America. “They join a group of 50,000 leaders who have raised their hand to be part of ensuring every child has access to an excellent and equitable education.”

Over the past 25 years, thousands of talented individuals have launched or continued careers in social justice through Teach For America. Hundreds of corps members and alumni have been honored as teachers of the year by their school, district, county, or state. More founders and leaders of entrepreneurial education organizations started careers with TFA than from any other organization or company. Alumni have gone on to become leaders in politics, school systems, nonprofit work, advocacy, and more. Together, they form a nationwide network helping to expand and strengthen the movement to give all kids access to a great education.

Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. In 2014-15, 10,600 corps members taught in 50 urban and rural regions across the country while more than 37,000 alumni worked across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. Teach For America is a member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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