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September 19, 2016

Launching a career of impact and service from Reading Partners to TFA

During her time at the University of Maryland, Elizabeth Majchrzak fell in love with teaching as a Reading Partners volunteer. After graduation, she joined Reading Partners as an AmeriCorps site coordinator in Baltimore and was inspired by the growth she saw in her students. She knew she wanted to be a leader in her own classroom, so she became a second grade teacher with the 2015 Teach For America Baltimore corps. Reading Partners gave Elizabeth the skills and determination she needed to have an impact as a TFA teacher.

Q: I’d love to hear more about your path to Teach For America. How did you decide to join Reading Partners? And what was your path to TFA?

A: I started as a Reading Partners tutor in college and loved it. Even as a volunteer, I was making a difference. I started to imagine how many more students I could impact if I worked for the organization. As a site coordinator, I was able to form awesome relationships with students and see their growth. I wanted to get into a classroom without going back to school to get an additional degree, which led me to TFA. It’s a huge network of individuals dedicated to the same mission, which is really powerful.

Q: What are some examples of positive impact you had on the community you served through Reading Partners?

A: I got to have a direct impact on student literacy. I’ve always loved reading, and helping develop a love for reading in my students was huge. Reading Partners also brought the larger community together. We had volunteers from all walks of life – police officers, medical school students, community leaders – form relationships with students. I loved being the person to help foster those relationships.

Q: How have your personal life experiences shaped your career path?

A: School was not always easy for me when I was younger. I know how hard it can be to have a lot going on outside of school, but I had many teachers and individuals in my life who made sure I reached my potential. Many of my students carry much more than their backpacks to school, and I hope to always provide the same support to them that I received.

Q: How did your service with Reading Partners prepare you to be a leader with Teach For America?

A: Reading Partners prepared me in so many ways. I had the chance to work in the same school where I teach now, so I had already formed those relationships and knew where my students were academically. Reading Partners taught me a lot about how to teach literacy and assess reading skills. Personally, through the program, I learned how to persevere and stick to what I’m passionate about, even when it’s challenging.

Q: What inspires you to continue in the fight to end educational inequity? 

A: My students inspire me more than anything else. I’ve grown to know them as people and see how much they’re capable of. They deserve so much more than they have been given, and the world deserves to see what they can do. They’re not always given those chances to shine. I come back every day because I want to help them reach the opportunities they deserve.

Learn how you can launch a career of impact and service with Reading Partners. Apply today.

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