Athletics News

GW Athletes Accept Positions with Teach For America

Dec. 1, 2014 While many members of the Class of 2015 are anxious about what will happen after turning over their tassels, there are two student-athletes who are happy to announce that they have settled their postgraduate plans. Seniors Mackenzie Jones and Madison Davis have each accepted a two-year contract with national organization, Teach For America (TFA).

Teach for America works with emerging leaders to ensure a quality education for children growing up in poverty. The program seeks out applicants that have demonstrated leadership skills, long-term commitment to achieving their goals and a strong desire to motivate others. Selected applicants work as TFA educators for two years.

Mackenzie Jones, a goalkeeper on the GW women's lacrosse team, has accepted an offer to work in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Less then a decade after Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana, the TFA's program in Baton Rouge is looking for help to turn around local schools and provide students with the tools to succeed. Jones will begin her time with TFA as a social studies teacher for high school students. The program has also provided Jones the opportunity to complete her master's degree in public administration at Louisiana State University, one of TFA's partner universities.

Madison Davis, a GW women's soccer defender, will be spending her two postgraduate years working in schools in Baltimore, Maryland. "I decided to do TFA because I absolutely love teaching and working with kids," said Davis. While in Baltimore, Davis will teach kindergarten special education and also will be working towards a master's degree in either education or education policy at nearby John Hopkins University.

TFA's Baltimore City program seeks to close the significant gap between the percentages of eighth grade students that are proficient in reading and mathematics that attend school in Baltimore City versus the rest of Maryland. "I've wanted to be a teacher for a very long time and doing Teach For America is a great beginning for the journey," said Davis.

Despite the upcoming challenges they will be faced with, both Jones and Davis feel that their time as student-athletes has helped prepare them. "In the classroom, when a lesson doesn't go as planned, knowing how to improvise and think on your feet is going to be important. Those kinds of skills are what a lot of student-athletes have to possess in order to be successful in both academics and athletics," said Jones.

Jones and Davis are both thrilled about becoming teachers. Through TFA they will not only be able to further develop their leadership skills, but will work to connect with students in order to improve the quality of classroom learning. Jones commented, "I'm really exited to live in a new city; it is going to be awesome! But in the classroom, I'm most excited to see the transformation in the kids' scores or even just their excitement about learning as they progress over the course of weeks and months."