Amanda: Teach For America


After graduating from college, Amanda was accepted into the Teach for America program and placed in Miami, FL. Her story will show how a full-time placement does not always meet expectations, and that plans can change after returning from a service experience.

Life Unexpected

Amanda found out about opportunities with Teach for America (TFA) during her final year at the University of Minnesota.


“I had always considered teaching as an option and believed in [the organization’s] mission of dealing with the educational gap,” she states, “and I decided to apply.”


Her plans were to fulfill the two-year commitment with TFA, gain professional teaching experience, and then continue to graduate school for music psychology.


“Teach for America is a great organization to have in your history, as a benefit to going further in whatever discipline you choose. I figured I would do my 2 year commitment and then go back to school.”


Though she set out with a clear career path for her TFA experience, during her tenure teaching underprivileged students in Miami, Amanda’s plans changed.


“My experience teaching in Little River Elementary School, and learning about urban education through a graduate program I completed while teaching, shifted my perspective. Teach for America grounded me in education; I still wanted to pursue music psychology, but now my mindset was on doing that with the goal of helping in education.”


Amanda finished her two years in Miami and, instead of moving on to graduate school, she continued teaching for 3 years in an urban school in Washington, D.C.


Of her unexpected career path, Amanda says, “I don’t think I would have done that without having worked in Teach for America’s mission.”


Where Is She Now?


Amanda recently graduated with a Master’s degree in music psychology in London and is completing her PhD in Perth, Australia.