“I put all of my eggs in one basket,” she said. “It’s what I wanted to do.”
Millson’s now in her first of two years teaching sixth grade science and special education at Kramer Middle School in Washington, D.C., one of the district’s lowest-performing schools. She’s the first UofL graduate to be placed in Washington, D.C.
“I’m not just dealing with the classroom. I’m dealing with real poverty,” she said. “Sometimes the teaching is more about life lessons.”
Millson is one of 18 recent graduates completing two-year commitments as Teach For America corps members. The organization selected a record 17 last year, although some deferred participation.
The program seeks high-achieving college students from all disciplines to commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools and places them in 46 regions in 36 states and Washington, D.C. It has about 10,000 corps members and more than 25,000 alumni.
Teach For America’s goal is to give students, many of whom are behind in the classroom, the same opportunities afforded to other students across the country, said O.J. Oleka, a 2010 UofL graduate, former Student Government Association president and current Teach For America manager who handles recruitment at UofL and other area schools.
“Every child in every district in every school … deserves that opportunity,” said Oleka, who, as a Teach For America corps member, taught math at Yeatman Middle School in St. Louis.
Oleka will lead three events Oct. 29–Nov. 1 for Teach For America Week at UofL. The next application deadline to apply for the program is Nov. 1.:
6 p.m.–8 p.m. Oct. 29, Bigelow Hall, MITC
“Less Talk, More Action: How to Fix Our Failing Schools” Oleka will talk about the effects of failing schools on students of color and those from low-income backgrounds. He will discuss what actions need to be taken and how Teach For America is addressing the situation. Sign up to attend.
6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.: Oct. 30, Bigelow Hall, MITC
Greek Leadership Summit (Greeks only)
Greek leaders at UofL will engage in a case study challenge based on the tenets of leadership in Teach For America’s Teaching As Leadership Framework. Although this event is for Greek students only, organizations or departments that are interested in having a similar leadership session can email Oleka.
Nov. 1, Heine Bros. Coffee Tulip Tree, Ekstrom Library
Talk with a Teach For America Representative
College seniors are invited to sit down with Oleka and learn about Teach For America, his personal experience teaching in the corps and the education issues the country faces. Send an email to Oleka to schedule a time to talk.