Gregorian Fellow to ‘Teach for America’
Posted on June 17th, 2016
Teach For America recently announced that two recent Benedictine College graduates have been accepted into the organization’s 2016 teaching corps. Gregorian Fellow Angela Lorang, a Theatre Arts and English major, will teach in the Kansas City, Kansas, region. Whitney Morrow, a Psychology major, will teach in the Oakland, California, area.
Teach For America is a national nonprofit working to expand educational opportunities for low-income students. Corps members commit to teach for two years in high-need urban or rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in pursuit of educational equity.
“I am currently working in education and every day I see how education is lacking, particularly in low income communities and special education and I want to see education in this country become a priority,” said Morrow, who graduated early and has already been in the workplace.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, by the time they reach fourth grade, students eligible for free and reduced lunch are almost two years behind in reading and a year and a half behind in math when compared to their higher income peers. Working in partnership with parents and principals, and alongside educators of all backgrounds, Lorang and Morrow join a diverse group of individuals dedicated to addressing these gaps.
“I was looking at the Peace Corps and some abroad mission work, but some of the experiences I have had while at Benedictine have changed my focus to domestic and local work,” Lorang said. “I’ve worked with the homeless in Kansas City through Uplift with Dr. Richard Coronado, I’ve helped at Lansing Correctional Facility’s Living Shakespeare program with Dr. Scott Cox, and I have conducted my own free after-school theatre program for middle school children from Atchison Middle School.”
A growing body of research demonstrates the effectiveness of Teach For America corps members. Recent studies by Mathematica Policy Research, the University of North Carolina, and the states of Louisiana and Tennessee found that corps members have a positive impact on student achievement.
“Our corps members and alumni have made a meaningful impact with their students and communities over time,” said Elisa Villanueva Beard, co-CEO of Teach For America. “I can’t wait to see the leadership, passion, dedication, and innovation this year’s corps will bring to their classrooms nationwide.”
“I have been privileged to know some great teachers who have profoundly affected my life in my four college years,” Lorang said. “And I cannot imagine myself not going into the profession.”
Lorang was also honored at commencement with the Fran Jabara Leadership Award, one of two awarded to Benedictine College seniors. In addition to her service as a Gregorian Fellow, Lorang was very involved in leadership at Benedictine College, from student government to academics to producing stage plays. She was a two-time Discovery Day presenter, giving a presentation on leadership in 2015 and one on afterschool programs in 2016.
She helped recruit new students as a worker in the Admission Office, helped them as incoming freshmen as a ROC leader and then went on to represent the student body as a Student Government Association senator and ultimately as a vice president on the executive board.
As a theatre major, she did more than just acting. She dug deep into the art, working on lighting design, scenic design, stage management and directing. And she did more than just improve herself. She put her talents to use for the betterment of the community.
She created an afterschool theatre program at Atchison Middle School with Sydney Giefer this past year. She also taught in a summer program at Stained Glass Theatre in Jefferson City, Missouri, and served as assistant director for the Lansing Correctional Facility’s production of King Lear through the Arts in Prison Living Shakespeare program.
Upon graduation, she will join the ranks of the Teach for America program and has committed to teaching secondary English and Language Arts in a middle school or high school in the Kansas City, Missouri School District.
About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. Our corps in the 2013-14 school year included 11,000 teachers in 48 urban and rural regions across the country. Today, our 37,000 alumni are working across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us onFacebook and Twitter.
About Benedictine College
Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.