"His call to serve and even his urging that we think of ourselves as global citizens are just completely foundational to Teach For America and Teach For All."
Teach For All CEO and Co-Founder, Wendy Kopp, appeared on NBC's "Today" as part of a tribute to former US President John F. Kennedy this morning. Alongside community organizer and former Texas state senator, Gonzalo Barrientos, she discussed how President Kennedy’s call to national service and creation of the Peace Corps helped inspire the founding of Teach For America and Teach For All.
"Specifically, one of his tremendous legacies, the Peace Corps, was such a source of inspiration for Teach For America," Kopp shared when asked by "Today" host Natalie Morales how Kennedy's vision influenced her work. "Its big idea that we should channel the energy of our most promising future leaders against our most pressing needs, knowing that that would make a huge immediate impact, but also a lasting impact because those leaders would be so truly transformed by that experience that it would influence their perspectives, their leadership, their career paths."
Asked by host Al Roker whether President Kennedy's call to serve continues to resonate today, Kopp assured him, "It's alive and well. This past year 500,000 Americans applied to Americorps programs like Teach For America. And we're even seeing this resonate now across the world...where college students and recent grads are clamoring to make a difference. Forty-thousand people applied to programs in the Teach For All network this year, beyond Teach For America."
Watch the full interview.