Teach For Austria Celebrates a Milestone Year

Emina, a Teach For Austria student, speaks at Teach First Austria’s fifth anniversary celebration (APA Fotoservice)

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the launch of Teach For Austria, and the organization has much to celebrate. In October, its Founder and Co-CEO Walter Emberger was named Austrian Citizen of the Year in the category of Humanitarian Engagement by the newspaper Die Presse. The award recognizes his vision for and leadership of Teach For Austria and his contributions to the country’s social sector.

“The challenges of the last years, including the refugee crisis, have shown that the public sector would not have been able to find solutions to many social problems without the help of civil society,” Walter said upon accepting the award. “So much more is possible here than many people believe, or make themselves believe.”

Photo: Die Presse

In November, close to 1,000 guests, including representatives from across the Teach For All network, gathered to celebrate Teach For Austria’s five-year milestone and recognize its progress and impact so far. Brett Widgortz, the Founder of Teach First and Co-Founder of Teach For All, and Teach First alumnus Ed Vainker delivered keynote addresses alongside Walter and Co-CEO Gebhard Ottacher.

The event’s highlights included a school choir performance and speeches by two students of Teach For Austria Fellows. The young presenters—Huda, a refugee from Syria, and Emina, an immigrant from Bosnia and Herzegovina—shared moving accounts of their integration into Austrian society. In her speech, Emina asserted that all children should have the same educational rights and opportunities, no matter where they are from.

Photo: APA Fotoservice

Teach For Austria Fellows currently teach in 43 schools in under-resourced communities in Vienna and Lower Austria,  reaching nearly 8,500 students. The majority of the program’s 117 alumni continue to work to ensure all of Austria’s children have access to the education, support, and opportunity they need to thrive.

Congratulations to both Walter and Teach For Austria! We look forward to many more years of collaboration and learning from your inspiring work.

Learn more about Teach For Austria and its work with refugee students.

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