Nikolas Howard, Founding Executive Director of Teach for America, is committed to the recruitment of passionate, dedicated people to serve as teachers and educational leaders to empower thousands of low-income students through education.
Howard knows talent when he finds it after having been a beacon of light himself. As also the founding director of the Sacramento READS! Literacy by Third Grade campaign, he points to a success story volunteering as a tutor at Irene B. West Elementary in Elk Grove Unified.
“I worked with a student for an hour every week, for only one semester. By the end of the school year he was reading on grade level. He had been behind for a couple of years. Reading together every week, I really saw his confidence grow, and he became so self-motivated and hardworking. Seeing him grow so tremendously and quickly was an amazing experience.”
“There is no more fulfilling work or sense of accomplishment than when you see a student able to change his or her own trajectory. Education is the one lever that has been consistently shown to break cycles of generational poverty. As you enter this field, never lose sight of the ability you have to inspire a child to something beyond even what that child imagined was possible.”
Howard’s own background includes having earned his master’s degrees from the University of Oregon in U.S. History and St. Joseph’s University in Elementary Education, and his undergraduate degree in History from California State Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo.
“When I was in graduate school studying the history of race in the United States and as I explored the continuing divisions in our society, it became clear to me that education was one of, if not the most important, area of focus for our country to solve for much of that inequity.”
“I believe becoming a teacher is the most important undertaking one can embark upon if they are looking to make lasting, long-term, important improvements in the Sacramento Valley region. Teaching is more than a job, it is a commitment to students, community and our collective future.”
Karen Hansen M.S. Earth Sciences, has been an educator and consultant who is currently an analyst regarding land and other public information records. She lives and works in Sacramento, CA. She has been writing about earth and the environmental sciences for Examiner.com since May of 2010. Find her work in several sections of the publication. You can find her work at SF Solar Energy Examiner, SF Environmental News Examiner and Environmental News Examiner