Senior Earns Teach for America Position in Memphis

Created: February 23, 2017
Last Updated: January 15, 2020

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WASHINGTON, PA (Feb. 23, 2017) – Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) senior Hope Butterfield will head to Memphis, Tennessee, after graduation to begin her two-year appointment as a Corps member with Teach For America (TFA).

Hope said her own secondary school experience helps her understand the lack of opportunities and other struggles faced by kids in disadvantaged school districts. As a first-generation college student, she credits in part the mentorship and guidance she received from her high school English and history teachers—Mr. AJ Vanyo and Mrs. Mary Marteeny, respectively—for inspiring her through high school and beyond, and she looks forward to giving that same level of support to her students this fall.

“I believe that every child deserves an opportunity to receive the best education that could be offered regardless of their background. I am honored that I have the opportunity to impact not only children’s lives, but I get to help combat the inequality in education this country has been facing,” Hope said.

TFA places recent college graduates in low-income schools across the nation as teachers. The program is highly selective and competitive, with an average acceptance rate of about 10 percent over the last four years.

Hope applied for TFA through an early decision program, and after meeting with a representative about her placement goals, had her choice of six locations— Memphis, Dallas, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, North Carolina, or South Carolina.

Looking to go somewhere new, Hope initially was drawn to Memphis for its live music scene and boundless outdoor activities. She became more certain of her decision after researching the education initiatives of each placement location and learning that the motto for Memphis schools is “Every child. Every day. College bound.”

The motto, which resonates with Hopes’ own story, is the perfect fit for what she wants to do in the program—be a teacher, mentor, and guide for her students at every turn.

“I am really looking forward to being able to impact a student’s life,” she said. “As a first-generation college student, I am so proud that I have the opportunity to be a part of such an incredible program.”

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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