Drew Student Attends National Teach For America Conference
Kelly Duddy C’19 shares what she learned.
August 2017 – Kelly Duddy is the first Drew University student to attend Teach For America’s selective Rise: Student Leadership Conference.
Duddy, a junior majoring in French and history, was among some 100 students from 59 colleges at the conference, which took place in Dallas. Duddy is also a Civic Scholar who this fall will start Drew’s Master of Arts in Teaching program.
Amy Koritz, director of Drew’s Center for Civic Engagement, described the scholar as a positive and upbeat student leader, adding that the conference is a “tremendous opportunity” for Drew to strengthen its enduring relationship with Teach For America, which enables college graduates to teach at disadvantaged schools. Duddy reflected on the experience.
Which sessions were most interesting?
I really liked the one about partnering between nonprofits and major companies to find a common cause. Also, the conference provided networking opportunities with other college students as well Teach For America alumni, and it opened my eyes to other opportunities. For instance, I learned about another program similar to Teach For America in France.
What did you learn about leadership?
I learned how to analyze what motivates people, what my personal leadership qualities are and how to best use them and how to convince other organizations to support your project in way that will be mutually beneficial. I can use these skills as a resident assistant, Rangerettes dance team co-captain, Catholic Campus Ministry president and Civic Scholar because knowing how to work with a variety of people and building co-sponsorships are crucial skills for effective programming and organization building.
How has your experience at Drew made you more engaged?
Our small community has granted me opportunities to be involved in many organizations and to grow into leadership positions within them. The Civic Scholar program has especially taught me valuable leaderships skills and has afforded me many opportunities to serve the community and become a leader.
Are you considering Teach for America, and if so, where would you like to teach?
I am much more interested in doing Teach For America, but I am still open to other possibilities. If I do Teach For America, I would really love to be in a city like Philly, D.C. or N.Y.C. I definitely want my career to include serving underprivileged communities because I firmly believe in creating opportunities for youth to achieve.