Public policy student finds success with Teach for America
10:10 a.m., Jan. 15, 2014--Public policy, one of the undergraduate majors available in the University of Delaware’s School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA), attracts students with a wide range of public service, non-profit, and political interests. Many of the students in the program have strong backgrounds in volunteer work and aspire to work professionally in roles that will benefit society in any number of organizations.
One public policy senior, Kelsey Schultz, recently was notified that her goal of working for Teach for America is becoming a reality after she graduates in May. Schultz was assigned a first-year Teach for America position at an elementary school in inner city Baltimore.
'Helping the Morning'
Schultz grew up in the Baltimore area, and has had an interest in studying and rectifying cases of educational inequality since high school. She founded and led a partnership between her high school class and a local elementary school, through which she and her classmates were able to tutor inner city school children.
Schultz said she realized that educational inequality issues are too profound for her to ignore, and has since felt passionately about working for organizations that promote educational and social justice.
At UD, Schultz transferred into the School of Public Policy and Administration – she matriculated originally as a university studies student – after taking a Citizens, Community, and Change course offered by SPPA. “I feel that the work we do in our SPPA classes is important, and I know that I’m building skills that will be applicable throughout my career,” said Schultz.
In another public service effort, Schultz has helped to develop a program at UD through which Blue Hen Ambassadors are able to volunteer their time to help graduating high school students complete their college applications.
This program was supported by a Teach for America Rising Leaders Fellowship, which Schultz received in 2011, and dovetails with the Institute for Public Administration’s Delaware College Access project.
The prior summer, Schultz did strategic planning for the KIPP Baltimore charter schools, which serve low-income students, in a public service project as a UD Summer Scholar.
A Teach for America placement is noteworthy for any soon-to-be college graduate, and is particularly exciting for a student with such a passion for educational equality.
Speaking of her professional aspirations, Schultz said, “I hope to have the greatest impact that I can throughout my career – right now, I know that’s in a classroom, working directly with students. Someday I may work in school administration or in an organization advocating for educational equality, but I know that my work will be rooted in my education and in my experience teaching. I feel so well-prepared, and could not be more excited for this opportunity.”