Teach For America

21-year-old Camirra Wilson graduated from N.C. State University this month. She was one of about 500 students across the state who were part of the last N.C. Teaching Fellows class.
Reema Khrais

This month, thousands of college students are walking across graduation stages and receiving their diplomas. Among them is a small group of 500 students across several campuses called North Carolina Teaching Fellows.

They’re the last of their kind to graduate – the state began dismantling the scholarship program in 2011. While the program has a 30-year-old legacy of recruiting teachers, filling classrooms remains to be a challenge that plagues the state today.

chain on a park swing
Brent Danley / Flickr/Creative Commons

There is some intense poetry writing happening this month in Eastern North Carolina.  Select groups of students are participating in the Teach for America Poet Warriors project.

NC Teacher Project
Dave DeWitt

Rob Bryan might not have needed the help. As the chairman of the Mecklenburg County Republican Party, he was well-positioned to run against, and defeat, a Democratic incumbent for a seat in the State Legislature in 2012.

But what turned out to be one of the more astute political decisions in his life happened more than 20 years ago, when he was a student at UNC-Chapel Hill and his roommate brought in a brochure for an organization he’d never heard of before.

Teaching Fellows
Henderson County Schools

Back in the 1980s, North Carolina had a serious teacher problem. There were shortages in much of the state, but the bigger problem wasn’t how many teachers, but who they were.

“We had a real need to raise the scholastic profile of candidates for teaching and also to increase the numbers of males and minorities in teaching,” remembers Jo Ann Norris, President and Executive Director of the Public School Forum of North Carolina.