Fellows, alumni, founders, and staff of Teach First Deutschland recently came together with representatives of the government and education sectors, supporters, and press to celebrate the organization’s fifth anniversary. Deutsche Post DHL, one of the Teach First Deutschland’s original supporters and its largest funder, hosted the event, which included an anniversary celebration highlighting the program’s progress on November 13th and an alumni gathering on November 14th and 15th.
Since its founding in 2009, Teach First Deutschland has worked to expand access to greater educational opportunities and equity for all students in Germany. The organization has successfully placed over 300 participants in high-need schools and communities, where they commit two years to providing students with the skills and support necessary to reach their potential. Alumni have gone on to lead schools, found organizations committed to educational equity, teach in universities, and serve in government posts.
Teach First Deutschland’s 5th Anniversary event featured keynote speeches by Sylvia Löhrmann, Minister of Schools and Continuing Education in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and Dr. Christof Ehrhart, Director of Corporate Communications and Corporate Responsibility at Deutsche Post DHL. Löhrmann and Ehrhart are longtime supporters of Teach First Deutschland and are integral realizing the organization’s long-term vision.
"The future success and innovative potential of business and society depends on a strong educational system and a targeted, purposeful approach to career development for young people,” Erhhart explained. “This is why we have supported Teach First Deutschland from the very beginning and are making this investment in the next generation.”
Deutsche Post DHL’s support of Teach First Deutschland has grown into a global partnership with Teach For All. The corporation now helps support eight network partners around the world.
Following the keynote speeches, a panel discussion offered attendees the opportunity to engage in a conversation about how the collaboration between Teach First Deutschland, the government, and the business sector has propelled the organization towards achieving its mission, and how to continue to increase its impact. Wendy Kopp, CEO and Co-Founder at Teach For All, was among the panelists who reflected on Teach First Deutschland’s first five years:
“In five short years, Teach First Deutschland has overcome numerous challenges to launch and build a strong foundation for the future,” Kopp shared. “I believe its work to develop the rising generation of Germany’s leaders to commit themselves to educational excellence and equity will prove to be foundational for Germany’s prosperous future.”
Together, Kopp and Ehrhart presented Ulf Matysiak, Managing Director at Teach First Deutschland, and Kaija Landsberg, the program’s founder, with a cake to commemorating the milestone.
‘’We were so lucky to find the supporters that we needed in order not just to launch but also to survive,” Matysiak said. “When we started a lot of people told us that a program like Teach First may work in the UK but could never work in a country like Germany. We found out this COULD work in Germany. To make it work on a broader scale is the challenge we are facing in the coming years.’’