Speaking at the United Nations!

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Capitol Hill last week and now the United Nations…(I’m so focused on the end goal sometimes I forget to appreciate the daily stuff, but this was truly amazing!)

I had the amazing privilege of being on a panel at the 6th Annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations for a session titled “BE THE CHANGE Making a Difference Around the World.”

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Around 700 20-somethings from around the world were in the audience.  They are all participating in a three day conference, aimed at bringing together youth who are already making big differences in their various countries to network and build their skills.

Truly inspiring group of young people!   

When you meet so many socially minded and “goal driven for good” people  it’s impossible to not walk out the door and feel like you can take on anything!

I spoke about my experiences and what it takes to reach your goals and also talked a lot about Teach For America and it’s founder Wendy Kopp.  She is truly the best example of what can be accomplished with a powerful goal and the right mindsets and she started the program at the same age as most of them in the room.

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One of the highlights of the day was getting to see Jessica from Boys Town New York! (pictured above)  Jessica was one of the students I met earlier in the year when I spoke at their school in Brooklyn.  

It’s amazing to see her continuing to turn her life around and to see that’s she’s now looking to help others!  (GO JESSICA!)

Special thanks to my teammate Jason Rogers for setting up this opportunity for me.  Really appreciate it J-Rog!

Wendy Kopp, Joel Klein, Cami Anderson and David Levine Speak at the Teach For America Alumni Summit

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NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein addresses TFA Alumni at the Summit

On Saturday, the Midtown Marriot in NYC hosted the Teach For America Alumni Summit which brought together close to 1,000 alumni from the Teach For America program.  It was a gathering of teachers, school leaders, politicians and others who are dedicated to fighting the great problem of educational inequality for our country’s poor. Some of my heroes spoke including TFA founder Wendy Kopp, KIPP founder David Levine, School Superintendent Cami Anderson as well as Chancellor Joel Klein who is slowly but surely bringing accountability and structure to the NYC school system addressed the assembled to share and celebrate progress, share lessons learned and inspire continued effort.

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Members of My TFA "Family" Romina, Anne and Nell

It’s always good to re-connect with old friends and feel inspired about the incredible efforts of so many to close the gap in student learning that exists in our country.  My favorite moment was Cami Anderson’s talking about how “good ideas are a dime a dozen,” but what really creates change is people’s getting in there and doing the hard work.  While DC Schools Chancelor and TFA Alum Michelle Rhee was not in attendance, her name wasn’t far from everyone’s lips, as she is fighting to change teacher tenure rules in DC so that failing teachers cannot simply remain in their jobs because they have been there for a long time. 

Worth checking out this article in the NY Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/13/education/13tenure.html?ref=education