An event with a bold title took place on this past Wednesday night, September 27th. “Opportunity Begins with Education” was coordinated and sponsored by “Teach for America”, The Tuskegee Pre-Alumni Council, and the Gamma Phi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. The purpose of the event was to prepare students for the career fair that was taking place the next day. After the informational meeting, students were allowed to have their resume constructively critiqued. A powerpoint was presented that focused on multiple topics including networking, the “Elevator Proposal”, a list on how to succeed during an interview, what to put in a resume, and information about the organization “Teach for America.” According to the coordinator and host, Michael Woodward, the entire premise of the event was to “-combat the lack of preparedness by getting peers on campus to speak to their peers. Whether it be through a formal event, by stressing the importance of a cover letter, a resume, or about dressing for success.” The program “Teach for America” have alumni that highlighted by Forbes Magazine, contribute to pool of America’s politicians, and more than 13,000 of the United States teachers. The graduate program requires its core members to dedicate themselves to education in many ways, shapes, and forms. Tuskegee University has been a large source of engrossed applicants for the non-profit in the past year.
Woodward, who once was a recruitment manager for Tuskegee University and a former 2013 corp member for Teach for America also stated, “Do we want to talk about Teach for America? Undoubtedly! Of course I want to shed light on educational inequity and the 16 million kids that live in poverty. But more importantly I want Tuskegee students to be prepared and ready to win tomorrow at the career fair.” During the time Woodward was presenting, he acknowledged that he was a part of the 2%; the scare percentage of educators that are Black males. Later on after the event, Woodward recalled “I’ve never seen a Black man in a suit who served in the capacity as a core teacher. All of the Black men I came across were football coaches or PE teachers. They wore gym shorts, they wore Nikes; and that’s cool and all, but for me, to grow up into someone that I had only seen in my mind was nearly impossible. I had to see this image, and I think a lot of the Black youth, and a lot of our Black and Brown students, they are without seeing someone they can emulate that’s of positive influence.” Woodward offered his information to many of the interested college youth who approached.
Campus Digest asked Angel McGriff, a graduating senior, how she enjoyed the event to receive a spectator’s opinion. Pursuing a business administration major, McGriff intends to open her own school for the mentally and physically disabled. Mcgriff stated “I absolutely enjoyed this informational, because it’s something I want to do. Right now I’m just gaining the aspect of the business side of owning my own business and I also want to gain the educational side of maintaining my own school.” McGriff stated that earlier she was contemplating on whether she wanted to go to graduate school or graduate with her bachelor’s and immediately begin working as a teacher. After the event, Griff concluded her thoughts, expressing that “This information just gave me a brighter picture as to what direction I should take, and I think teach for America is the perfect place and where I should be at.” Although every student did not have epiphanies like McGriff, many students, some who originally did not intend to come, received advice they could use for the remainder of their professional career.