Posting Date: May 4, 2011
KSU music student selected for Teach For America
Amanda Nichole Newton will start teaching this fall
By Megan Roberts
Amanda Nichole Newton
Photo by Zelda Johns
Last fall, Amanda Nichole Newton began to look into what to do after she graduates from Kennesaw State University. While she was searching, she found a program called Teach For America and decided to apply. “I was almost completely sure I wanted to study voice next year in graduate school,” Newton says. However, once she was accepted into the program, she made the decision to put aside graduate school for two years and spend her time helping others.
Teach For America is a program located in 39 regions across the United States that works to eliminate educational inequality. Teachers are sent to places that have low-quality education, and they work for two years with children from low-income communities. TFA has reached more than 3 million children since it was founded in 1990. Last year, 8,200 teachers were sent out to work with more than 500,000 students nationwide.
“I see the Teach For America program as a way to help thank the role models and teachers who invested so much of their personal time in ensuring I succeed,” explains Newton.
She wants to pass on her passion for education as she teaches in Atlanta this fall. “I want to show young people that no matter what challenges they are experiencing in life, they can become whatever they dream, as long as they maintain focus on their education and make positive choices.” Newton is a great role model for the way that an education can make an impact. At KSU, Newton has maintained a 4.0 GPA while she completes her double major in voice performance and music education. She was also selected as the 2009 University System of Georgia’s Regents’ Scholar for KSU and is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Scholars.
Newton is scheduled to graduate this spring and will teach this fall. After she finishes her two years with TFA, she plans to go on to graduate school to study opera performance. She hopes to eventually join an Opera Young Artist program and begin a career as a performer. Newton also wants to pursue a doctorate degree.
“I made it where I am today because of the professors in my life,” she says. Alison Mann, KSU assistant professor of choral music education, is excited about the opportunity. “Teach for America is a very prestigious program,” Mann says. “I cannot think of a young teacher more qualified than Amanda.”