Students passionate about teaching underserved children across America

Jen Hodshon wants to work with students who need her the most. The elementary education major will get that chance this fall after getting a two-year appointment to Teach for America.

"I have a true passion for education reform and I really liked the idea of being able to work in some of our country's most struggling schools and make a lasting impact in them," she says.

Despite the very real challenges that working in these kind of schools present, becoming a Teach for America corps member is highly competitive and to even get an interview is a really big deal, says Tricia Kennedy with University 101 Programs. Teach for America is a national organization that places freshly graduated college students for two-year appointments in classrooms in underserved schools around the country.

This summer Hodshon, and Kerry Savage, a business and marketing major, will both be heading up Interstate 77 for six weeks of intensive training before settling into classrooms in the Charlotte, N.C., area as Teach for America corps members.

After listening to a Teach for America recruiter in the fall, Savage decided the program would provide her with valuable experience and an idea of whether or not she wanted to pursue a career in counseling in an educational setting further down the road. "I'd always been interested in the nonprofit area and definitely in working with kids," she says. "I wasn't gung ho about working in education at first but I warmed up to the idea." Savage will teach English to middle-schoolers this fall.

Though they have not yet gone through their training, they both are aware of the struggles they face as well as the lasting impact their placements could have on many young lives. "If I can help my students see their true potential and reach new heights, I will get everything and more that I ever wanted out of this program," says Hodshon.

"I want to get my hands dirty," says Savage. "It's a big personal trial for you for those two years. It'll be the best and hardest thing I've ever done."

More than 90 graduating seniors from Carolina have joined Teach for America since 1990.

Learn more

You can support future educators like Jen Hodshon and Kerry Savage, visit Carolina's Promise to find out how.

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