When we teach, we reach.

In our increasingly interconnected world, tomorrow’s leaders must be collaborative thinkers, global citizens who embrace diversity. They will be expected to bridge cultures and continents and believe that leaders come from all walks of life.

But students in Charlottesville and Albemarle County perceive a different truth entirely.

For every 122 students there is only one African American teacher.

The absence of diverse teaching staffs affects every one of our children. They rarely witness cross-cultural collaboration, hardly benefit from diverse mentorship. A generation is growing up without an appreciation of cultural differences, without understanding that despite our varied experience, our similarities unite us.

African American students suffer the most: in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, they are three times more likely to drop out of school than their white peers. They lack mentors who share their sociological and cultural roots, who can address the needs of a diverse student population.

At AATF, we provide fellows with 3 tools to help them succeed as teachers

While many programs provide financial aid to college students, we go further. In addition to helping pay for tuition, books, and licensure fees, we work one-on-one with each Fellow while she or he is studying to earn a teaching license. We connect Fellows to each other, to students, and to administrators in our community. We make sure that Fellows are prepared to be exceptional teachers from the first day they enter the classroom, and we continue to support them in their journey.

Our program not only provides a bridge from the academic world to the professional world, but we are also elevating the status of the teaching profession. Becoming a teacher is a demanding process, one that requires prospective teachers to meet the highest academic and professional expectations. Our Fellowship provides support and guidance along the way.

Every year, a group of African American Teaching Fellows earns teaching licenses and joins the community-wide effort to create schools that model excellence, diversity, and student achievement.

This growing group of African American educators works to eliminate racial disparity in our schools and prepare all students for a brighter, more collaborative future.

Through hard work, dedication, and the support of the AATF and each another, these new teachers become role models, encouraging all students—regardless of race—to celebrate differences, understand similarities, and develop self-awareness. And the achievements don’t stop there.

Now we’re looking for leaders to join them.

You can join this team of young professionals working to improve the lives of all children.

You can be the difference our community needs.