WASHINGTON, PA (May 26, 2017) – Two recent Washington & Jefferson (W&J) graduates have earned positions with Teach for America.
Hope Butterfield ’17 and Alexandra Hudon ’17 will take on appointments teaching special education in Memphis, Tenn. and science in Treasure Valley, Idaho, respectively. Both women said their experiences with their own education, including the teachers they met and opportunities they had along the way, influenced them to pursue Teach for America positions.
Butterfield 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 the mentorship and guidance she received from her high school English and history teachers 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,” she said.
When Hudon was graduating from her Georgia high school, she knew she wanted to attend a liberal arts college that would allow her to take classes across many academic departments, instead of focusing on just one area. W&J College was far from home, but had exactly what she was looking for.
“I’m an English major with minors in biology and philosophy,” Hudon said. “The fact that I was able to take so many interdisciplinary courses in a range of subjects here, and spend a lot of time in different departments, is really what I wanted.”
Teach for America 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.
Hudon said she is looking forward to planning lessons for her classes, and engaging her students interested in science experiments – something she remembers enjoying when she was a young student, herself.
Butterfield 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 Butterfield’s 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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