As a corps member with Teach For America, I am thrilled about the opportunity to work alongside graduate students to build on a shared passion for social justice to impact the health and education landscape here in Atlanta. The Classroom to Community seminar offers the ideal avenue to bridge the professional interests of corps members, spanning education and health policy, medicine, or public health, with the expertise of MPH candidates.
The seminar provides a forum for graduate student and corps member pairs (go team Jaime Escalante!) to deliver frontier research in primary and secondary classrooms, while further developing instructional leaders. Graduate students and corps members alike are afforded the unique opportunity to practice at the intersection of health and education, gaining exposure to a variety of scholarly and practical perspectives that will affect student outcomes and ultimately the health of surrounding communities.
The Classroom to Community seminar strengthens the ConnectEd 4 Health partnership between Rollins School of Public Health and Teach For America’s Health Leadership Track (HLT). The HLT is an initiative put forth by “health-minded” educators to create avenues of opportunity for corps members to begin addressing both the health and educational needs of students. I have no doubt the ConnectEd 4 Health partnership will renew a commitment to the students and their families in Atlanta’s most underserved communities, while laying the groundwork for a model for future collaborative efforts between Teach For America placement sites and public health institutions. It is invigorating to work with a team dedicated to partnering effectively to ensure our work advances the broader good for the children we serve.
Cheers to the formal kick-off, to the upcoming semester, and to the pursuit of our collective vision!
-Michael Turgeon, 2010 Corps Member, Teach For America