Teach For America North Carolina and the Aspen Institute Announce New Alumni Scholarship

June 1, 2022

Scholarship Increases Access to Professional Development for TFA NC Alumni

Washington, DC, June 1, 2022 – The Aspen Institute and Teach For America North Carolina (TFA NC) announced today a new scholarship opportunity for TFA NC’s more than 2,200 alumni to enroll in one of the Aspen Institute’s signature leadership development programs, the Aspen Executive Seminar on Leadership, Values, and the Good Society.

Starting this summer, alumni of Teach For America North Carolina can apply for an exclusive scholarship to attend The Aspen Executive Seminar. Held by the Aspen Institute since 1951, the Aspen Executive Seminar brings together individuals to engage in dialogue and critical examination of their core values in order develop the practices and mindsets to be more effective values-based leaders. Past participants of the seminar have included such prominent figures as the late Madeleine Albright and CEO of Netflix Reed Hastings, as well as TFA CEO Elisa Villanueva Beard and Former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan who attended as a part of their Aspen Institute leadership fellowships. The TFA alums who are selected will receive full funding provided by both organizations to participate in the seminar worth $12,950.

One of the trademarks of the Aspen Executive Seminar is the intentional curation of leaders from different sectors in dialogue so that those working in corporate, government, and nonprofit arenas can learn from each other and forge networks that defy typical sector and industry boundaries.

“As a TFA alumni leader working in the nonprofit education space I rarely get access to professional development and growth opportunities like the Aspen Institute,” says Vichi Jagannathan (TFA ENC ’11), Co-Founder of Rural Opportunity Institute and an early scholar selected to attend the seminar. “The opportunity to build connections with and learn from senior leaders in different fields was invaluable for me and will be for other alumni. It is critical to have the exposure and learning from this type of experience as we continue to remain focused on contributing to education and equity in North Carolina.”

The ultimate vision for this collaboration will be annual convenings in North Carolina in which the TFA alumni who have gone through the Executive Seminar will take part in further Aspen Institute-designed programming to both foster deep bonds of community and prompt meaningful action. The goal is to create broader conversation about the importance of collective leadership among the equity-centric educators that animate the TFA.

“Our alums make a lifetime commitment to students and their potential alongside our collective mission of making education equity a reality through system-change leadership,” said Dr. Monique Perry Graves, Executive Director of Teach For America North Carolina and Executive Seminar alumna. “As an organization, our lifetime commitment is to foster that collective leadership and development in a variety of ways. Being able to catalyze alumni leadership by providing opportunities for North Carolina TFA alums to attend the Aspen Executive Seminar directly aligns with our mission, and the very active work we are doing in North Carolina as we advance towards doubling our impact in our communities by 2030. Supporting alumni to attend the seminar and then establishing Aspen as a partner in future statewide TFA NC alumni conferences is a significant step in our 30+ year history, but more importantly a tremendous benefit for our NC-based alumni and ultimately the communities we serve.”

Aspen Executive Seminars are held six times a year at the Aspen Institute’s Aspen Meadows Campus, with upcoming seminars in June, August, and October. Seminar groups are capped at 23 people with up to three spaces reserved for TFA NC alumni scholars.

“This collaboration is a welcome and timely investment in education in and for a free and responsible democracy. Ideas have consequences, and we all benefit—especially those laboring in the vineyards of education—from an opportunity to test our ideas and their consequences in the company of those who may see the world differently,” Executive Director of Executive Leadership Seminars at the Aspen Institute Todd Breyfogle. “I hope this collaboration will be the first of many such opportunities for leaders in education to expand their perspectives, refine their pedagogy, and help create the laboratories of ideas and dialogue that support a more thoughtful public.”


About Teach for America North Carolina

Teach For America North Carolina works across Eastern North Carolina, Charlotte, the Piedmont Triad, and other communities in North Carolina to expand educational opportunities for children. We begin by recruiting dynamic, outcomes-driven, equity-centric educators to join the movement to end educational inequity. Our network of 2,200+ leaders across the state are advocating for children from classrooms, schools and every field that shapes the broader systems in which schools operate. TFA launched in the Eastern North Carolina region in 1990, in Charlotte in 2004, and the Piedmont-Triad in 2014. Through the years, we have collectively trained nearly 4000 teacher leaders in our state, impacting more than 250,000 students.

About Aspen Institute Executive Leadership Seminars

The Aspen Institute is a nonpartisan forum for values-based leadership and the exchange of ideas. The Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the greatest challenges of our time. For over 70 years the Institute has offered leadership seminars based on a simple premise: the difficult decisions leaders make are moral not technical. As such, leaders must understand the values that animate their decisions. The Aspen Institute offers leadership seminars at its main campus in Aspen, CO and at locations on the east coast. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org/exl.

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