Teach for America has accepted 5,800 new recruits for the 2012-2013 academic year, including 550 Hispanics, a new record for the 23-year-old organization reports the Latin American Herald Tribune.
The organization recruits and trains new teachers in a two-year program, sending them to struggling public schools across the United States. Forty-percent of these students are Hispanic.
“We believe in the idea of having role models for our children in the classroom. Someone a Latino child can look at and say ‘that’s what I’m going to be someday,’” Amanda Fernandez, Teach For America’s vice president of diversity and inclusiveness, told Efe.
In pursuit of a diverse pool of applicans, TFA has established ties with groups such as the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and more. Almost 40 percent of TFA participants identify themselves as minorities. Two-thirds of those who complete Teach for America go on to pursue careers in education.
“Teach For America is in many ways an organization to develop leaders,” Fernandez said. “We don’t just give our teachers the opportunity to serve the community or be a role model, will also give them important leadership aptitudes.”