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University of Missouri Students Accepted into Teach For America 2016 Teaching Corps

Nearly 20 students commit to teach in high-need, low-income communities after graduation

May 12th, 2016

Story Contact: Sheena Rice, 573-882-8353,

By Amanda Narverud

COLUMBIA, Mo. – According to the National Center for Education Statistics, by the time students eligible for free and reduced lunch reach the fourth grade, they are almost two years behind in reading and a year and a half behind in math, when compared to their higher income peers. Working in partnership with parents and principals, alongside educators of all backgrounds, nearly 20 University of Missouri seniors will join a diverse group of individuals dedicated to addressing these gaps.

Teach For America recently announced it has accepted nearly 20 MU students into the organization’s 2016 teaching corps. Teach For America is a national nonprofit working to expand educational opportunity for low-income students. Since the organization’s founding in 1989, more than 47,000 leaders have joined the corps and reached more than 4 million children. After graduating from MU, Corps members will teach for two years in high-need urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in pursuit of educational equity.

“I am proud of our Tigers who have committed to making a meaningful impact on students and communities across the nation,” Jim Spain, vice provost for Undergraduate Studies said.  “These outstanding Mizzou graduates were chosen to be a part of the Teach For America corps because of their demonstrated leadership ability, strong achievements in academic, professional and extracurricular settings, and respect for individuals’ diverse experiences and backgrounds. I know that even after their experience with Teach For America, these passionate and high-achieving students will continue to advocate for students.”

Students selected for the 2016 Teach for America teaching corps, along with the region where they will be working include:

Megan Anderson, Arkansas

Autumn Branch, Chicago

Madison Bridges, Jacksonville

Elizabeth Brown, Kansas City

Dylan Conway, Kansas City

Justin Cutts, St. Louis

Ronisha Daniels, St. Louis

Vernon Driskell, Mississippi

Jamon Finley, Kansas City

Kwaeisi Golliday, Arkansas

Alexzandria Johnson, Chicago

Morgan McPartland, Kansas City

Erin Mikel, St. Louis

Jeffrey Rettman, St. Louis

Stephanie Richards, Tulsa

DeShaunya Ware, New Orleans

Amy Welin, Phoenix

Timoshanae Wellmaker, Delaware

Suyang Zhang, Tulsa

To learn more about Teach For America, visit: