Describe your nonprofit’s mission.
The mission of AATF is to recruit, support, develop, and retain a cadre of African American teachers to serve the schools in Charlottesville City and Albemarle County. Our Fellowship enables African American college students to develop into premier teachers in order to serve the children that attend schools in Charlottesville and Albemarle.

What need in our community brought about the creation of your nonprofit?
The student body in both Charlottesville City Schools (CCS) and Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) are more diverse than their teachers. In CCS, only 16% of the 426 teachers are African American. However, the student body of 3,945 consists of 43% black students (as of 2012). In 2014, 9% of the ACPS instructional staff consisted of minorities. With a student population consisting of over 20% minority students, the diversity of the county’s instructional staff pales in comparison to that of its student population. ACPS’s student body of 13,122 consists of the following demographics: 69.7% white; 11.4% black; 9.0% Hispanic; 4.5% Asian; 5.5% other. Our community serves over 15,000 students and employs more than 1,500 teachers, but there are fewer than 150 African American teachers working in our schools.

How has your nonprofit made a difference in our community?
Since AATF’s inception, we have had remarkable success. There are a total of 20 Fellows teaching in the state of Virginia. Out of that 20, 14 Fellows are teaching in the Charlottesville-Albemarle community. One-hundred percent of our recent Graduating Cohort of Fellows returned to their respective schools in Charlottesville and Albemarle for the 2016-2017 school year. Each teacher that has successfully completed our program have taught in Charlottesville in Albemarle beyond their fellowship requirement, which speaks to their commitment to increasing diversity in these schools.

How can community members help you achieve your mission?
We aim to spread our mission throughout the community, and would love for community members to share what we do. If anyone knows of a potential Fellow, please send them our way! We also depend on community support to offer scholarships to our Fellows, and we welcome all donations via our website.

Tell us a story that has come out of your work.
Brandon Isaiah, current teacher and football coach at Albemarle High School was a Fellow in our program. He succesfully completed his fellowship in 2013. Under his leadership, the AHS football team won the Jefferson District, and Brandon was named Coach of the Year. Not only does he serve as a premier teacher, but his impact goes far beyond the classroom onto the football field.

Find out more about African American Teaching Fellows

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