Alumni LaGrone, Broadwell Speak on Teach for America Experience

March 6, 2014

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Florida College alumni Matt LaGrone ’10 and Daniel Broadwell ’12 returned to campus last week, accepting an invitation from the College’s Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences to speak to students on their recent efforts with the Teach for America initiative.

According to postsecondary.org, just eight percent of children raised in low-income communities will graduate from college by age 24; Teach for America aims to combat that statistic through the recruiting of capable professionals who are willing to teach in such communities in an effort solve educational inequity.

Though the national program is 32,000 strong, the application process is rigorous and holds an 11 percent acceptance rate. LaGrone and Broadwell were among that 11 percent when they were accepted into the program in 2012. Last week they returned to their alma mater to share their experiences with the College’s bachelor’s degree-seeking students, including education, history, English and music majors, and later participated in an open forum for any interested in the program.

Matt LaGrone graduated from Florida College with his associate degree in 2010. He then transferred to Georgia Tech, where he earned a bachelor’s in economics in 2012 while applying for the Teach for America initiative. He accepted a position to teach high school pre-calculus and business math at University Preparatory High School in inner-city Detroit.

“Teaching in Detroit has been a formative experience in my life,” said LaGrone after the forum. “Who I am and my goals for the future have been influenced by students and the inequalities they have overcome.”

Daniel Broadwell received his associate degree in 2010 and graduated with his bachelor’s in liberal studies in 2012. His acceptance landed him in Tulsa, Okla., where he is now finishing his second year teaching fifth grade.

“I have always believed that Florida College students are perfect prospects for an organization like Teach for America,” Broadwell said. “I was encouraged to see such a high interest from students in what Matt and I are doing.”

The Teach for America is comprised by upstanding, talented individuals who are committed above all else to serving those in need. Florida College is proud to have graduated such leaders like Matt and Daniel, and wishes them the best in their future endeavors.