Pitt Ranked Nationally For Number of Recent Graduates Who Joined 2013 Teach For America Corps

Issue Date: 
October 28, 2013

At a high school in Indianapolis, a chemistry teacher starts her lessons by asking her students to join her in a chant: “I can because I will! I will because I can! If I think I can’t, I’ll do it anyway! That’s grit!”  

The teacher, Pitt alumnus Asia Moses, says the motivational chant helps her students to get into the right frame of mind for learning chemistry fundamentals that might seem intimidating at first—like the periodic table of elements.  

Moses is teaching at the Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School in Indianapolis through the Teach For America program. She is one of 38 recent Pitt graduates who joined the program this year, making the University one of the nation’s top “contributors” of Teach For America corps members in 2013. Pitt is ranked 19th among colleges and universities nationwide with more than 10,000 undergraduate students. This is the second year in a row that the University has made it onto the top contributors list. Other top contributors include Ohio State, UCLA, Penn State, Cornell, North Carolina, and Michigan.

Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding individuals of all academic disciplines to commit two years to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. Over the course of the program’s 23-year history, 211 Pitt alumni have taught as corps members.  

Moses, who grew up in Chester, Pa., and earned a Pitt bachelor’s degree in sociology in April, says she joined the Teach For America program because of her extracurricular experiences as a Pitt student. She mentored grade-school students through the Medical Explorers program of Pitt’s School of Medicine and the School 2 Career program of the Oakland Planning and Development Corp., where she found that she enjoyed helping teenagers develop their knowledge—and their grit.