Wednesday, October 25, 2023
  Around Campus, Community, Alumni, Recognitions

By News and Internal Communications

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – OCT. 25, 2023 – Teach For America (TFA) has released a list of colleges and universities that are contributing the greatest number of alumni to its teaching corps.

UTRGV is among the Top 10 large schools contributing the greatest number of alumni to the TFA teaching corps, with more than 19 graduates leading classrooms this school year.

That grows Teach For America’s network to 70,000 leaders committed to working alongside others in rural and urban communities across the country to ensure that every child has an education that prepares them to learn, lead and thrive.

UTRGV President Guy Bailey said Teach for America has a long history at UTRGV and its legacy institutions.

“We are proud to help lead the charge in preparing UTRGV students to teach in a multitude of disciplines through Teach for America,” he said. “That preparation is not just about teaching, though. It’s also about making sure that our increasing focus on multidisciplinary education graduates teachers schooled in everything from STEM to dance, from medicine to macroeconomics, and everything in between.”

This year’s TFA corps of 2,200 diverse leaders hail from nearly 650 colleges and universities, of whom 44% are first generation-college graduates.

TFA teachers come from all backgrounds, majors, sectors, and identities; what connects them are common mindsets, skills, and a belief that all students deserve the opportunities that a high-quality education affords.

UTRGV alumna and current Teach For America RGV Corps Member Patricia Hernandez Howard (RGV ’23) said she was motivated to apply to TFA by the way its alumni and recruiters talked about their time in the program.

“It is exactly what I was looking for,” she said, “a chance to change lives – one person at a time. Now, two months into being a teacher, I can safely say it has been one of the most rewarding decisions of my life. It’s as though all my experiences, both in and out of the classroom, have led me to this. I now have the chance to give back to the community that surrounds me, while honoring all the great teachers I have had throughout my life, some of whom I have the honor of calling my friends.”

Teach For America bases its recruitment efforts on research that helps show corps members who significantly expand opportunities for students, based on some core characteristics:

  • A deep belief in the potential of all kids.
  • Demonstrated ability to create meaningful change and a bold vision beyond the status quo.
  • Strong commitment to learning.
  • And respect for the diverse experiences of individuals and the ability to work effectively with people from a range of backgrounds.

Ana González, executive director of Teach For America Rio Grande Valley, said establishing strong recruitment partnerships with UTRGV has been crucial for TFA RGV because it allows access to a diverse, culturally aware talent pool that understands the community and its needs.

“UTRGV provides a wealth of local expertise and academic diversity, enabling us to place dedicated educators with a wide range of skills in our classrooms,” González said. “This partnership fosters a sense of local collaboration, unity, and a long-term commitment to addressing educational disparities and improving the quality of education in the Rio Grande Valley.” 


Teach For America Rio Grande Valley (TFA RGV) works in partnership with local districts and charter schools to expand educational opportunities for children. Founded in the Rio Grande Valley in 1991, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding leaders who make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity.

Today, TFA RGV is a force of about 275 alumni and corps members impacting more than 4,000 students in pursuit of profound systemic change. From classroom to school-systems positions, these leaders are reimagining education to realize the day when every child has an equal opportunity to learn, lead, thrive and co-create a future filled with possibility. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. 

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The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.