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Teach for America

TFA Graduate Fellows Program identifies additional funds

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The Teach For America Graduate Fellows Program has identified additional funds to support more TFA Fellows for 2018. The program has reopened their 2018 application during the month of June and will close on June 30, 2018.

“We are incredibly excited to be able to support more student innovators that are passionate about making Mississippi the place to be,” said Harrison Wood, Program Coordinator.

This program is open to Teach For America (TFA) Alumni who have completed their two-year teaching commitment. Accepted TFA Fellows receive a full-tuition Graduate School Scholarship to Delta State University for up to two years, 4 semesters (Fall/Spring), of full-time enrollment. TFA Graduate Fellows are invited to pursue a Master’s, Specialist or Doctorate degree during this program.

Additionally, each TFA Fellow works to develop a ‘Social Entrepreneurship Project.’ Through the Social Entrepreneurship Project, each Fellow addresses the obstacles that are holding Mississippi back from progressing forward and they are challenged to confront the issue in a ground-breaking approach, fostering impactful social innovation that can lead to creating the future they envision for Mississippi, their community, and themselves. Selected TFA Fellows will start the program during Fall 2018.

If you’d like to learn more about the TFA Graduate Fellows Program, or would like to apply, please visit www.tfafellows.com.

The program is funded through a grant from the Robert M. Hearin Foundation. The principal goal of the foundation is to contribute to the overall economic advancement of the state of Mississippi by making funds available to four-year colleges and universities and graduate professional schools located in the state.

Delta State to host 9th annual TFA Delta Institute

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Delta State University will welcome Teach For America back to campus as the organization kicks off its ninth year of training hosted by the university.

Approximately 310 corps members and staff members will begin the intensive summer curriculum June 11 for the 2018 TFA Delta Institute.

On June 10 from noon to 5 p.m., Delta State will host TFA Registration Day at DMI Studio A to welcome the corps on campus. Volunteers are sought to work one-hour increments in one of the following areas: greeters, welcome wagon, Okra Kart drivers, handing out information packets and lunch boxes, and dorm check in at Foundation Hall.

To sign up for a volunteer slot, contact Leigh Emerson, assistant director of Communications and Marketing at Delta State, at lkorb@deltastate.edu or 662-856-4677.

“We are very excited to welcome Teach For America back to our campus again this year,” said Emerson, “We’re grateful that Delta State and TFA have maintained this solid partnership since 2010.”

TFA is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates of all academic majors and career interests who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools and become leaders in the effort to expand educational opportunity.

These corps members work in school districts challenged by poverty, geography or other issues. Their training to teach begins at summer institutes, and Delta State is one of just a handful of training facilities across the nation.

Learn more about TFA at https://www.teachforamerica.org. Follow all Delta State news at www.deltastate.edu.

TFA Graduate Fellows celebrate progress

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Pictured, left to right: Jeremiah Smith, Boyce Upholt, Sarah Brown and Jon Delperdang.

 

The Teach For America Graduate Fellows Program at Delta State hosted “Connect & Celebrate” at the Delta Music Institute April 14. The event’s purpose was to honor and celebrate the inaugural graduating cohort from the two-year TFA Graduate Fellows Program. The graduating group, Cohort 1, consists of eight TFA fellows from around the state of Mississippi.

The program is a two-year fellowship funded by the Hearin Foundation, with the goal of retaining TFA alumni in Mississippi. Each year since 2016, the program has identified a select group of 8-12 TFA alumni who desire to continue their careers in Mississippi.

During the fellowship, participants pursue a graduate degree at Delta State, while also working to design and develop a social entrepreneurship project. Through the project, fellows work to find solutions to some of the toughest challenges facing the state.

During the Connect & Celebrate event, four of the graduating fellows from the inaugural group shared stories from their two-year journey. Speakers included:
-Jon Delperdang, director of Greenville Renaissance Scholars
-Boyce Upholt, author of “Between The Levees”
-Sarah Brown, author of “Student Data Journal”
-Jeremiah Smith, founder and director of Rosedale Freedom Project

Other graduating fellows include: James Forte, who assisted with Clarksdale Collegiate Public School Charter School; Javier Peraza, who founded Jackson Kids Code; Jena Howie, who founded Magnolia Coin; and Kandace Stevenson, who has focused on serving Greenville, Mississippi.

Fellows in Cohort 2 closed the event with a conversation about their project goals as they begin their second year as fellows. Guests were then encouraged to connect with fellows and share resources, connections, and work to establish a support system in Mississippi.

Fellows in Cohort 2 include: Lucas Rapasarda, Kaitlyn Barton, AK Suggs, MK Honeycutt, Alexis Williams, Latasha Capers, Charlotte Arrowsmith, Catie Denham, Leigh Hill, JJ Townsend, and Sean Brown.

“The TFA Graduate Fellows Program would like to extend a huge thanks to everyone who joined us to celebrate the fellows and this amazing journey they’re on to make Mississippi a greater place to live,” said Harrison Wood, program coordinator. “This was truly a special event. We were able to honor and celebrate our first cohort’s growth and accomplishments, while also actively working to provide resources and support as Cohort 2 starts their second year in the fall of 2018.”

For more information on the program and service opportunities, visit www.tfafellows.com, or find the program on Instagram @tfafellows and Facebook. The program is funded through a grant from the Robert M. Hearin Foundation. The principal goal of the foundation is to contribute to the overall economic advancement of the state of Mississippi by making funds available to four-year colleges and universities and graduate professional schools located in the state.

TFA Graduate Fellows partner with Rosedale Freedom Project

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The TFA Graduate Fellows Program at Delta State University partnered with the Rosedale Freedom Project to host a Spring Service Day in the organization’s garden on March 24.

For the the day of service, participating volunteers seeded over 100 plants, weeded the RFP Freedom Garden and built three raised beds.

“It was a truly special experience to have volunteers spend their Saturday helping serve alongside other people who are committed to the betterment of Mississippi,” said Lucas Rapisarda a fellow who works with the RFP.

The TFA Graduate Fellows Program is a two-year fellowship program at Delta State offered to Teach For America alumni, with the goal of retaining TFA alumni in Mississippi.

During the fellowship, selected fellows work to design and implement social entrepreneurship projects to find solutions to some of the toughest challenges facing Mississippi. Each year, the program hosts three service says across the state. Each opportunity is open to TFA Fellows, stakeholders, community members and students. Service says offer the chance to actively support nonprofits by donating time to the community and a showing a willingness to work for the betterment of others.

For more information on service opportunities and the TFA Graduate Fellows Program, visit www.tfafellows.com or find the program on Instagram @tfafellows and Facebook.

The program is funded through a grant from the Robert M. Hearin Foundation. The principal goal of the foundation is to contribute to the overall economic advancement of the state of Mississippi by making funds available to four-year colleges and universities and graduate professional schools located in the state.

TFA Graduate Fellow to host microgrant dinner in Jackson

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Jacksonians interested in bettering their community will gather at Cathead Distillery March 22 at 6 p.m. to kick off Citizenville’s inaugural JXN Gumbo event series.

The series’ executive director is JJ Townsend, who is also taking part in Delta State University’s TFA Graduate Fellows program. The program is a collaboration between Delta State and Teach For America. The fellowship’s role is to retain TFA alumni in Mississippi by offering the opportunity to continue their education in graduate school at Delta State and to nurture their passion for enhancing the state.

JXN Gumbo will let attendees enjoy a bowl of gumbo and listen to neighborhood entrepreneurs pitch ideas. All of the participants will get feedback from neighbors, and one winner will take home the money raised.

“Citizenville is a nonprofit online platform to crowdfund community ideas, and JXN Gumbo is the face-to-face side of the platform,” said Townsend. “Our mission at CitizenJXN.org is to promote community-driven project ideas through crowdfunding, creativity, collaboration, democracy, trust and fun. Although we’re also an online platform, JXN Gumbo is a perfect way for us to crowdfund community ideas while engaging with folks in person.”

Each presenter will have four minutes to share their idea and answer four questions from the audience. The audience will then vote to choose the best idea. At the end of the night, the ballots are counted and a winner is chosen. Winners collect the money from gumbo sales, launch their projects, and attend a future JXN Gumbo dinner to report their project’s progress.

There are opportunities for interested community organizations and leaders to pitch at the event. To sign up to pitch, visit citizenjxn.org/jxngumbo. For attendees, tickets will be sold at the door for $5. Attendees are encouraged to pre-order tickets online at citizenjxn.org/jxngumbo.

Founded in 2017, and based in Jackson, Citizenville is committed to unleashing the full potential of citizen ingenuity and catalyzing collective power to fund and implement new local solutions to entrenched problems.

Cathead Distillery is located at 422 South Farish Street in Jackson, and continues to grow its popularity and distribution throughout the southeastern region of the U.S. It was founded in 2010 by Austin Evans and Richard Patrick.

For more information on Delta State’s unique TFA Graduate Fellows program, visit http://www.tfafellows.com/home-1.