OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Two Oklahoma Christian University (OC) seniors have earned selection to the competitive Teach For America program.
Katelyn Jackson is a psychology major from Jonesboro, Ark., and Hannah Ketring is an English/writing major from Nashville, Tenn. They are part of OC’s Honors Program and will both graduate this spring.
Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits professionals and recent college graduates to teach for at least two years in low-income public schools.
“Students at any age level need people in their lives to support them and tell them that they’re competent and capable so they don’t get trapped in these patterns of failure,” Ketring said. “I’m looking forward to being that voice in their lives and saying that you can be more than what other people have told you that you are. You can rise above that.”
Both Jackson and Ketring needed government assistance when they were growing up as their parents dealt with the economic challenges of pursuing school later in life. They hope their experiences help them connect with their students.
“I grew up on food stamps and welfare. That gives me an idea of what my potential students are going through,” Jackson said. “I’m excited to let them know that their situations do not determine how well they’re going to do in their lives. I want to offer opportunities and help every child know that education is their right.”
Jackson will teach secondary science at a yet-to-be-determined school in Oklahoma. Ketring will teach English for elementary school students back home in Tennessee.
They will continue a new OC tradition. Oklahoma Christian graduates Henson Adams and Wil Norton joined the program when Teach For America expanded into Oklahoma City in 2011.
Adams taught mathematics at Douglass High School while Norton taught English at Douglass Mid-High. They are now in law school at the University of Texas and Georgetown University, respectively.
Through Teach For America, approximately 11,000 corps members currently teach in 48 urban and rural regions across the country. More than 300 of those corps members now teach in Oklahoma. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org.