2005 Winner

Wendy Kopp

CEO and Co-founder, Teach for All

Kopp proposed the idea for Teach For America in her Princeton University undergraduate thesis and founded Teach For America in 1989 to marshal the energy of her generation against educational inequity in the United States. She has been recognized as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards for public service. She is the author of A Chance to Make History: What Works and What Doesn’t in Providing an Excellent Education for All (2011) and One Day, All Children: The Unlikely Triumph of Teach For America and What I Learned Along the Way (2000).

Teach for America‘s mission is to eliminate educational inequity by developing committed classroom leaders.  This is done by recruiting committed recent college graduates and professionals of all backgrounds to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools, training and developing these corps members so that they have an immediate positive impact on their students, and fostering the leadership of our alumni as they address this problem from all sectors. In the 2013-14 school year, 11,000 corps members reached more than 750,000 students while 32,000 alumni continued to deepen their impact as educational leaders and advocates.