Everyone Knows it’s Wendy
By Marcy Driehaus
“It may seem from where you sit that the impact you can have at this point in your lives is negligible. But I’m a big believer in the power of inexperience.” is what Wendy Kopp, former CEO and founder of Teach for All, stated while addressing the graduating class of Boston University on May 19, 2013.
Wendy Kopp was born to make a difference, but no one knew what the enormity of her impact would be the day her life journey began on June 29, 1967. Wendy got her start with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton in 1989. Before receiving her degree, though, Wendy pitched the concept of Teach for America as her undergraduate thesis. The ball didn’t get rolling on this project until a year later when the organization became official.
Teach for America is an organization that works to give all children access to a good education despite any circumstances. The educators in this program are recruited from the best colleges in America, and their mission, according to their website teachforamerica.org, is to “provide an excellent education for kids in low-income communities. Although 16 million American children face the extra challenges of poverty, an increasing body of evidence shows they can achieve at the highest levels.” Not only has Kopp made a huge difference with Teach for America, but she also continues to make strides towards more accessible and substantial education through the organization Teach for All, founded in 2007. Teach for All is an institution whose goal is to “expand educational opportunity around the world” according to their mission statement found on its website, teachforall.org. Through efforts such as these, Wendy has been able to bring hope and happiness to children all over the world.
Over the years, Kopp has accumulated a variety of awards. These range all the way from Princeton University Woodrow Wilson Award, to The Clinton Center Award for Leadership and National Service, to The Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. Even with impressive awards such as these, it’s a safe bet that the education she’s managed to provide for so many is reward enough. Talk about influential women!