Advocates play key role in student success
Jessica Leonard’s e-mail signature includes the quote, “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching."
She brings that mantra into her classroom every day as a 7th grade science teacher at Stevenson Middle School in southeast Houston. At Stevenson, 100 percent of the students qualify for free lunch, and the majority of her students know very little about the opportunities that exist outside of their neighborhood.
Leonard has taught at Stevenson for four years. She spent the first two years there working for Teach for America (TFA), an organization rooted in domestic education reform that focuses on enlisting, developing and mobilizing as many as possible of the nation's most promising future leaders to grow and strengthen the movement for educational equity. TFA, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary later this month, emphasizes that together we can solve the achievement gap through selective recruitment and training of top college graduates with excellent critical thinking, organizational, interpersonal and leadership abilities.
These characteristics prove most effective in helping students of all backgrounds achieve dramatic growth – not just those from upper class families. Shell has partnered with TFA since 1992, and our support helps fund the placement of hundreds of math and science teachers across Houston.