When Students Lead: Advocating for Change in Baltimore

Video by Faolan Jones

Across the network, teachers and alumni of Teach For All partners are seeing improved outcomes inside and outside of their classrooms by focusing on and fostering student leadership. Among those at the forefront of this work is Teach For America alumnus Zeke Cohen, co-founder of The Intersection, an organization in Baltimore, Maryland dedicated to helping low-income students recognize and realize their potential as leaders of social change in their communities, their country, and the world. As a teacher, Zeke witnessed one of his most challenging students transform into a leader of his peers on class service trip to New Orleans. Inspired by that experience, he launched The Intersection to provide a platform for more students in Baltimore’s low-income neighborhoods to realize their power to effect change.

“What I came to is the idea that often when people think about low-income kids, they’re thought of as either part of the problem or as victims,” Zeke explains. “What if we could shift that lens and show that kids can be the solution?”

Watch the video to learn more about The Intersection, its student leaders, and the impact they’ve had in their community and beyond.

For more insights from these interviews with Zeke and his students, visit withGanas, a blog by Teach For All’s Senior Director of Classroom Leadership, Steven Farr.

In November 2014, Zeke Cohen and Intersection student leader Dawnya Johnson joined teachers, alumni, staff, and students from across the network at the Teach For All Student Vision and Leadership conference in Mumbai, India. Learn more