TNTP Teaching Fellows operates in several states and prepares exceptional teachers for students in the country’s most disadvantaged communities. The program has trained more than 32,000 teachers for public education.
Smith, who has also served eight years in the Arkansas Army National Guard, plans to take her experiences at STAND to her new position.
“I've learned many things at STAND as a VISTA, such as taking initiative and leading outside of my comfort zone,” said Smith. “My VISTA service has guided me to my purpose. I greatly enjoyed servicing in the underserved community, but most of all, helping to build leaders, which is part of the reason I felt teaching students is my purpose.”
Once her training is complete, Smith will teach 15 students in the subject area of special education in kindergarten through eighth grades at an all-girls public charter school in Atlanta.
“If we can build a strong foundation from the start in children's lives, their leadership abilities within the next generations will be to no end,” Smith said of her new endeavor. After a year of dedication to the program, the Wheatley, Ark., native wants to continue teaching disadvantaged children to provide better education opportunities.
Congratulations Jessica! We will miss you but are so proud of you!