Ryan Hawaiian

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 10 2010

And so it begins …

Here, I sit … the date: May 10. Induction is rapidly approaching being just a mere 3 weeks away! Time has flown by so quickly over the last few months leaving me somewhat in disbelief. I have awaited this moment for so long and here I am standing on the brink of the next 2 years that are sure to be transformational in so many ways.

I am leaving behind the culture of Corporate America that has been ingrained within every cell of my being to head out to the shores of Hawaii … and I’m not turning back. My journey with Teach for America began back in Fall 2008 when I received an e-mail from one of the recruiting coordinators asking to sit down with me for an informal interview. As a business student, I never really contemplated a career in teaching. But, the more I learned about Teach for America … the more I was impressed and left wanting to join in the cause of tackling the achievement gap. The gauntlet of readings, assessments, and interviews soon followed leading me to that final interview. In the midst of finals, projects, a full-time internship, and serving as president of my business fraternity I dedicated any free moment to this final upcoming interview doing the best I could as a business student to come up with a lesson plan!

When the interview finally came, months of preparation came down just to these few final hours. I left that interview at the University of Rochester not really being able to make heads or tails of my performance, but I knew that my intentions were sincere and that I gave it everything I had. Unfortunately, shortly after family illness struck that was going to need me to stay close to the Western New York area to help support my family even if I were to get in.

Notification date: January 20, 2009. What else was significant about this date? It was the Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, Barrack Obama. Eagerly awaiting my notification status later that afternoon, I watched the historical swearing-in of our nation’s first African American President. Later that afternoon my notification from TFA: I was ACCEPTED to the ’09 Philadelphia Corps! The whole situation was just all so fitting. It drove me to even write a note on my facebook page, the only note that I have written to date which I entitled “INSPIRED”. An excerpt from the post reads as this:

“With today’s events of the Presidential Inauguration of Barrack Obama I cannot help but wonder if this is a sign of what I am to become. The presentation of an opportunity to affect the lives of hundreds of students and choose the most noble act of creating a social impact rather than the monetary rewards of business ventures which embody the greed that has left the nation where it is today.There are many people out there – my family and my friends – that have been so amazing and I would not be where I am today without them. If I am certain of anything, it is that I will use whatever platform I may hold, to have an affect on the community that surrounds me and INSPIRE others as I have been INSPIRED today.

Although I knew I would be unable to teach in Fall 2009 due to my circumstances, I applied for a one-year deferral from the program with faith that all would work out as it should. I was fortunate enough to get a position in the meantime with a major investment bank as a financial advisor, putting my business acumen to work. Since that day time has flown by and I am set to join TFA as a Hawaii Corps Member for 2010. I could not be happier. I am aware of the challenges that lie ahead, but determined to propel my students toward becoming their best self, in and outside of the classroom.


2 Responses

  1. Congratulations Ryan! Best of luck in Hawaii!

  2. Christine Lew

    Hawai’i welcomes you!

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