Teach For America Welcomes More Teachers With Ties to South Carolina This Fall

Diverse and Talented Incoming South Carolina Teaching Corps Members Join a Network of 340 Corps Members and Alumni Working Across the State to Collectively Impact Educational Equity


North Charleston, S.C., September 29, 2016—This fall, Teach For America welcomes a new teaching corps among whom 60 percent have ties to South Carolina, triple the rate of last year’s corps. The increase in corps members with ties to South Carolina comes in response to RiseSC, a campaign launched by Teach For America–South Carolina to help ensure its teacher and leadership development are rooted in the communities it serves.  Fifty incoming corps members contribute to a total corps of 100 and 240 alumni working in Pee Dee, Midlands, and the Lowcountry communities.

Teach For America corps members make a commitment, beginning with two years of teaching, to be a lifelong partner in the effort to ensure that every child has access to an excellent and equitable education. They join a national incoming corps of 3,400 individuals who share traits of those who came before them – leadership, achievement, perseverance, belief in children’s potential, and the ability to work across lines of difference. They are among the most accomplished graduates from 740 universities, including South Carolina State University and Claflin University. The new corps is also diverse with half of the incoming members identifying as a person of color and roughly half identifying as white. One in two received Pell Grants for college. One in three is the first in their family to graduate from college.

“We are proud to welcome a group of stellar leaders for the sixth year here in South Carolina, and we are especially excited for the increase in individuals who have ties to the region,” said Josh Bell, executive director of Teach For America–South Carolina. “Each corps member is committed to seeing true progress for students in our high need communities, and we look forward to the impact these new leaders will make both within and outside of classrooms as they work together to attack educational inequity.”

Among local incoming corps members:

  • Over 60 percent have ties to South Carolina
  • Almost half identify as people of color
  • 35 percent identify as African American
  • One in two come from low-income backgrounds
  • More than 20 percent are the first in their family to graduate from college
  • One in three applied as professionals or graduate students
  • Almost 30 percent have backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, or math
  • 10 percent are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces or spouses of active or veteran members of the military

Corps members go through the same hiring process and are paid in the same way as other new teachers. Most corps members also receive an AmeriCorps education award, which can be used to repay student loans or certification costs, or to pay for further education costs. Additionally, through AmeriCorps, corps members can put qualified loans into forbearance while teaching.

Teach For America is seeking to accelerate community progress in education through the collective impact of corps members and alumni. Nationwide, there are 53,000 Teach For America corps members and alumni working to expand educational opportunity across the country this fall. Of those corps members and alumni, 19,000 are educators, while others are working from an array of sectors to ensure that all children have an equal chance in life. Locally, 80 percent of Teach For America alumni work in education, including Cara Mitchell, who serves as a program director for WINGS for Kids, a local non-profit helping children develop social and emotional intelligence through fresh and fun after school programs; and Ed Chambers, a twenty-plus year veteran educator who teaches English at Columbia High School.

Teach For America is the nation’s largest and most diverse pipeline of educators partnering with schools in low-income communities. It remains one of the country’s most studied educational-leadership-development organizations, with a growing body of research – including a recently published review of the most rigorous studies by the What Works Clearinghouse – that indicates the positive impact of corps members and alumni in classrooms, schools, and communities.

About Teach For America

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 effort to end educational inequity. Today, more than 53,000 Teach For America corps members and alumni are leading within schools, school systems, and every sector and field that shapes them. Among them are 19,000 teachers, including nearly 7,000 first and second year corps members in 53 urban and rural regions across the country. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter