In the United States, only half of the 15 million children living in poverty will graduate from high school. Those who do graduate will function, on average, at the eighth grade level.
African-American, Latino/Hispanic, and Native American children are three times more likely to live in disadvantaged areas, putting them at a greater risk of educational inequity.
And yet, academic achievement is the surest path to greater life opportunities and success in today's workplace.
Teach For America is building a movement to ensure that every child in America has access to an excellent education.
With Cisco's support, Teach For America is meeting its mission to help impoverished children receive the same educational opportunities as those living in high-income communities.
Teach For America's corps members come from all backgrounds, educational majors, and career interests. They receive the necessary training, professional development, and ongoing support to provide an immediate positive impact on their students.
Teach For America's more than 10,000 corps members are currently reaching more than 750,000 students in 46 regions across the United States.
Teach For America built a technology network based on the Cisco platform, and now its far-flung network of staff and corps members can stay connected with WiFi, Voice Over IP, and video conferencing throughout the 46 regions they serve.
Cisco network infrastructure allows Teach For America to more efficiently recruit, train, and place highly motivated corps members in the most underserved schools.
Staff, corps members, and alumni can access files and connect with each other no matter where they are—in a coffee shop or at an on-campus meeting—using Cisco WebEx. Cisco TelePresence technology for virtual meetings helps the organization reduce travel time and expenses.
Teach For America estimates Cisco's product donations will save the organization more than $896K per year just in reduced travel costs. Savings have already enabled its program to grow 150 percent—from 4000 corps members in 2008 to more than 10,000 in 2012.
Corps members are making a positive impact on more than 750,000 students, 80 percent of whom are from low-income communities.
Teach For America's alumni ranks have swelled to 28,000 members—63 percent of whom continue to work in education, leadership, and advocacy long after their 2-year tenure concludes.
In fact, more than 660 alumni are serving in school leadership positions, and nearly 70 hold elected office.
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