The University of Texas at Austin’s Teach for America recruitment team is continuing our 2018 Corps Member features! We’re highlighting some of the fantastic individuals who have signed on as corps members, such as Ariana Azimi, in order to shed some light on an organization that focuses on eliminating educational inequity once and for all.
This week we are spotlighting Julia Hickey, a senior Iberian and Latin American Studies major. Julia has been involved on campus with multiple organizations, most notably as the President of Reformed University Fellowship and New Member trainer/Bible study leader of Pi Beta Phi.
Julia has always wanted to be a teacher, but never thought it was a possibility right after college since she is not an education major. "I briefly pursued the corporate business world, but every time I thought deeply about my future, I knew that I wanted to work with kids in a way that could impact their lives most positively. Through my years of experience serving orphans in Zambia, I have seen firsthand the life-changing impact that education has. Education drastically changes the trajectory of a child's life, giving them hope for a future. My interest in serving with Teach For America stems from the fact that I want to address the lack of equal opportunity in my own country."
Julia will be teaching Special Education in New York City in the fall! Her experience working with low-income students of different backgrounds and cultures in Zambia, Austin, and Denver have given her the communication and organizational skills she will need in the classroom. Of her hesitations, Julia says "New York can be overwhelming in itself as it is a fast-paced city; therefore, I'm slightly intimidated to be doing this difficult work there. That being said, I have always wanted to live in NYC and addressing educational inequity there is extremely exciting to me."
Julia is deeply invested in enacting change in the lives of deserving students, but she knows that she will not be the only factor involved in change. "I get overwhelmed thinking about how I am going to be able to change the lives of every student in my classroom, but I have to be okay with the fact that I may not click with each student & that's okay. It is my job as a teacher to equip my students with the skills and values that they will need to be successful for the rest of their lives." We look forward to seeing the fruits of Julia's hard work next year!
Julia plans to stay in the classroom long after her two year commitment to TFA. Of her longterm goals, Julia says "I hope to create even greater change in the lives of students systematically through administration. Unfortunately, many school administrations in the United States are very corrupt, and I would love to have a hand in creating positive change at a higher level."
Julia's advice to anyone considering the program is to seek advice from people with experience in the organization! "Meeting TFA alums and current corps members has ignited my passion for TFA's work. TFA is by no means meant for a certain kind of person - people from all different backgrounds with a variety of interests are successful in this work. There is no harm in applying and learning more about the organization, so do not hesitate to reach out!"
Stay tuned for more 2018 Corps Member features! If you have any interest in applying or have any questions, please contact our Recruitment Manager, Jorge Galan, at Jorge.Galan@teachforamerica.org. Don't forget that the next deadline to submit your application is coming up on January 26th!