Teach For America: Latino education needs to happen now

Teach For America (TFA) ended Hispanic Heritage month last week with an impressive “Teach Orgullo. Create Oportunidad” Google+ Hangout to discuss not only the importance…

“Teach For America,” discuss the important role of Latinos in education. (TFA)

Teach For America (TFA) ended Hispanic Heritage month last week with an impressive “Teach Orgullo. Create Oportunidad” Google+ Hangout to discuss not only the importance of Latinos in education but also their unlimited future.

“At Teach For America, we’re really interested in partnering with the communities,” spokesperson Carol Frazer, director of Teach For America Initiatives for Brand Marketing and Digital Strategy, told VOXXI. “We’re always finding ways to further engage policymakers to see how can we truly come together to create a better opportunity for the next generation of Latinos.”

SEE ALSO: Santa Barbara City College increasing Latino student success

The goal behind the “Teach Orgullo. Create Oportunidad” Google+ Hangout was to identify the most pressing issues affecting the education of Latinos nationwide and to create a call for action packaged as a conversation that includes tactical steps needed to see Latino education priority become a reality.

Frazer said the positive results from the cyber conference stemmed from the top-notch panelists including Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics Alejandra Ceja.

“Ceja said [President Obama] has vowed in 2020 we’ll be the country with the highest rate of degree completion,” Frazer said. “We won’t get to that goal without the Latino community, so it’s going to take a collective action.”

She added, “Going in, I’m not quite sure we all understood the priorities or promises made around that goal. So it’s a very clear goal we’ll all have to gather around if we want to see that happen in our country.”

Other panelists included Teach For America corps member Lorenzo Garza and Dream.US program director and DREAM Act advocate Maria Gabriela “Gaby” Pacheco.

“The one thing that really stood out was the importance of culturally responsive material in the classroom and being quite intentional about it,” Frazer said. “The reason was because teachers tend to be the first point of contact for Latino children, especially those that are the children of undocumented parents.”

The subtext to the “Teach Orgullo. Create Oportunidad” Google+ Hangout was in the next few decades the presence of the Latino population will continue to grow. That’s why conference attendees stressed the importance of providing the Hispanic community with an excellent education.

Naturally, this message goes right in line with the mission of TFA, which recruits, trains, and supports outstanding individuals of all backgrounds who commit to teach for an initial two years in underserved schools and become lifelong leaders in the pursuit of educational equity.

The organization, which is among the country’s largest providers of Latino teachers, has long recognized the potential of teachers who share students’ backgrounds to serve as critical classroom leaders and role models.

The reality is talk is cheap, and when it comes to promoting the education of Latinos and bridging the education gap, there are plenty of conferences and events held nationally. So why does Frazer feel the “Teach Orgullo. Create Oportunidad” Google+ Hangout was different.

“These conversations are had often but I don’t believe they are had often by community leaders who are coming together to have a very objective conversation with great depth about this specific topic,” Frazer said. “That’s why we had such a huge response on social media about this conversation.

“Each one of these individuals brought life and depth of experience into their particular area. I think that’s what made this one very unique.”

Securing pathways to reach a commonly held goal was a positive takeaway from the event, which Frazer said TFA could be doing again sooner than later.

“Because of the response, we see it’s useful,” Frazer said. “People are finding useful information they didn’t have prior. They want to continue that conversation, and we look forward to being a platform for them to continue.”

SEE ALSO:  Excelencia in Education: Promoting Hispanic excellence in school

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