A young Indian-American man with short dark hair wearing a white shirt and grey patterned tie sits on a desk in an empty classroom.

What I Learned After Four Years in the Classroom

Ankur Arya (Delaware '12) shares how his TFA experience made it possible to pursue his passion.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Why did you join TFA? I joined TFA because I truly believe in the power of an excellent education and the impact that it can have on kids. I grew up attending low-income schools and it was important for me to teach in a similar community. Ultimately, I have learned after four years in the classroom that the kids have more of an impact on you than you can ever have on them.

What is your favorite TFA memory? My favorite memory is a recent one. This year, I was invited to alumni induction. Normally I am unable to attend because it falls on the same night I chaperone my school’s 8th grade formal but I was convinced to stop in for a short while. While there, I was surprised to receive the Bebe Coker Service Award for my work in the community. I was so honored. 

How has TFA impacted you? I have grown leaps and bounds as a teacher because of TFA, but I’ve also been able to pursue other dreams. I recently founded an education focused nonprofit. Without the support of our Executive Director, Laurisa Schutt, who encouraged me to pursue my passion, this would not have happened. 

College(s) Attended: Haverford College and Wilmington University

Community Activities: I currently run a nonprofit called Leading Youth Through Empowerment. Our mission is to increase access for low-income middle school students to top performing Delaware high schools through personal mentoring, rigorous teaching, and leadership.