Today’s future corps member spotlight is Lilli Stevens. Lilli is currently a senior majoring in Urban Studies. During her time at the University of Texas, Lilli has been involved in Kappa Delta as well as multiple campus-wide campaigns.
Lilli grew up moving around often - she was born in Washington, D.C., but has also lived in El Salvador, Mexico City, and El Paso. Her interest in education reform piqued at a young age through her experiences in her various homes. "In El Salvador, my family helped build a school in a low-income community. I became passionate about education reform at a young age when I saw how poor the El Salvadorian education system was - making it through elementary school was a huge success there! When my family moved to Mexico, I received my SEP diploma, which was the requirement for all students, but it only required matriculation through sixth grade. Students were not required attend high school. Before we moved to El Paso, I had been under the impression that the lack of education was only due to living in a third world country, but in El Paso, Texas, I was astonished at the inequity in the U.S. as well as the lack of ESL programs, which prevented students from future success.”
Lilli’s experience in low-income communities abroad as well as in Texas, is what attracted her to Teach For America Initially. “Teach For America appeals to me because it is an organization that not only matches my passions, but also, challenges me and pushes me forward.” Next fall, Lilli will join the 2018 Teach for America Corps. She will be teaching in New York City! When asked what she is most excited about for next year, she responded that she cannot wait to learn from her students. While she will be teaching the kids, she knows that she will be learning just as much from them and even more about herself.
After her two year commitment in N.Y.C, Lilli hopes to attend law school before pursuing a career in housing or education policy. Her advice for students considering the corps is to "focus on why you want to be in TFA. If the passion is there and you want to achieve the success, TFA will recognize that in you.” Of the application process, she says it has been extremely rewarding. "The application required self-reflecting, which helped me figure out that TFA was right for me. It was also a lot of fun! I went into my interview and met twelve other people who are passionate about education equality but who all had different stories and perspectives."
Lilli adds that “one of the coolest aspects of TFA is that I am not even officially in it yet, but there is already an outpouring of community members reaching out to me, wanting me to be successful, and supporting me. I think this network, which I know will be there before through and after my commitment, is something unique to Teach For America.”
If you have any desire to serve low-income children and battle the issue of education inequality, please feel free to reach out to us on our facebook page, the contact page above, or email our primary recruiter, Jorge Galan, at Jorge.Galan@teachforamerica.org.
Thank you for reading! Check back next Tuesday for more.