Thursday, August 7, 2008

Session 3b: Stand Up and Lead: Wendy Kopp

Session 3b: Wendy Kopp

Teach for America

  • Where you're born really does have an impact on your educational level

  • 13 mil kids live below the poverty line, by 4th grade- they're already 3 grades behind those in better communities- over half won't graduate high school, when they do, it's at an 8th grade level

  • 5-10% of college seniors aspiring to be teachers are agreeing to teach in a low-income school for two years through her organization, 25,000 students.... She shamelessly gives the "big ask" at college campuses to give them the "opportunity" to help lower income kids

  • Passion for what we do will draw others to the cause.... am I passionate about what I do and what I lead- is it contagious? Wendy is clearly drawing people with her passion...

  • Had to create a "movement" on campuses, not just a thing to sign-up for....

  • Lack of management can be the pitfall to your vision or calling- Crazy ideas ultimately will need some structure and organization to reach its potential.

  • She chose leaders over teachers to teach in the low-income schools...

  • When times get tough- look back at the core of your mission and get back to the basics

  • When there is a Big Dog problem that's "solvable"- it's our moral imperative to work to make that happen- in this case, our public education.... we can do this...


  • Wendy's sense of the front lines- her knowledge she has of her cause- exudes confidence and makes me want to go campaign for funds with what she does... Am I doing the hard work to truly understand the problems at hand, the sense of mission, and acquiring the information needed to be a trustworthy leader and someone worth following?

  • There are a lot of "spinsters" out there that are are talk, all look, but many people can see right through it...

  • Connecting the dots from some of the other items discussed at the conference...again... am I involved in a cause that's BIG, from the heart of God, and am I exercising my gifts and talents in it?

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