Wendy Kopp - Teach For America

Teach For America

In 1989, Wendy Kopp proposed the creation of Teach For America in her undergraduate thesis at Princeton University. She was advised in her thesis by senior sociology professor Marvin Bressler. She was convinced that many in her generation were searching for a way to assume a significant responsibility that would make a real difference in the world and that top college students would choose teaching over more lucrative opportunities if a prominent teacher corps existed.

Shortly after graduating from Princeton, Kopp founded Teach For America. In 1990, 500 recent college graduates joined Teach For America’s charter corps.

In 2007, Wendy founded Teach For All, a global network of independent nonprofit organizations that apply the same model as Teach For America in other countries.

In 2013, Wendy stepped down from her position as CEO of Teach For America and assumed the role of board chair for the organization.

Kopp chronicled her experiences at Teach For America in two books, One Day, All Children: The Unlikely Triumph of Teach For America and What I Learned Along the Way and A Chance To Make History: What Works and What Doesn't in Providing an Excellent Education For All

On Friday, May 3, 2013, it was announced that Wendy Kopp would be the Boston University Commencement Speaker for the Class of 2013.

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