Jamie Alberta of Grand Rapids, who recently graduated from Northern Michigan University with a degree in graphic communications, will become a Teach For America corps member. Teach For America is a selective non-profit that enlists and develops promising future leaders to impact social inequity from the head of a classroom and work in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Alberta will be an early childhood education teacher in Memphis, Tenn.
“As I was graduating, I thought back to all of the things I did at Northern as a student,” Alberta said. “Everything I valued the most had to do with working with other students and leading them to success. I took into consideration all of my past experiences may not be directly about education, but they always were about helping others. This is a perfect opportunity to make a career change without the expense of getting another degree.”
Alberta will depart in early June for six weeks of training at the University of Memphis, combined with summer school teaching for Shelby County Schools. In the fall, she will begin working as an early childhood education teacher for the district. Following her two-year Teach for America commitment, she can choose to stay employed with Shelby County Schools or pursue other opportunities.
It was an NMU Career Services email about Teach for America and its no-fee application process that sparked Alberta’s interest. Once she applied and was accepted into the program, she submitted her top three areas of choice based on cost of living, location and other factors. Alberta said she chose Memphis because she wanted to be within a 10-hour drive of her hometown of Grand Rapids. Because Memphis is considered a high-need area by Teach for America (TFA), she gained immediate acceptance by that location.
“I’m excited,” Alberta said. “It’s a great opportunity, and I’ll be moving to a new town knowing a TFA community of corps members and partners already exists there to support me and help me succeed. It’s like moving to a college campus and the system that’s already in place there.”