As I was cleaning out my many, many boxes of college stuff a few weekends ago at home, I found a brochure from the first Teach For America information session I went to during my freshman year. (Pack rat, party of one.) I can still picture the room (100-something Thomas, the one on the left before the double doors to the lecture halls), the food (Roly Poly Sandwiches), the video we watched (a CNN featurette about a couple of corps members). I don’t know how I can remember this and not what I had for dinner last week.
That was back when there were only two deadlines (now five, counting summer DL), three institutes (now eight), 22 regions (now 39); when fewer than 20,000 applied for the corps each year (estimates from this year put the applicant number at 45,000+). All this growth means that more students are being impacted by Teach For America and that more people are supporting the mission of educational equity. I am so excited to see how Teach For America will grow while I am a corps member and in the years and decades afterward.
Looking back on my journey to becoming a corps member, I find that I have been the recipient of a lot of luck (though I also believe in the saying The harder you work, the luckier you get). Had I never had the opportunity to mention on national television that I was interested in the organization, I might not have had the opportunity to work on recruitment, which subsequently led to working at institute. Sure, I might have gotten in if I hadn’t worked for Teach For America, but who’s to say my experience didn’t push me over into the accept pile? It certainly didn’t hurt.
Life’s funny this way. It makes me think that I am meant to be here, in the 2010 corps - that everything I have done thus far was meant to take me to Memphis.