Million Dollar Matching Campaign Supports Teach For America’s High Stakes Work in Arizona.

The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation Pledges 2:1 Matching Dollars to Help Raise Funds to Address Educational Inequity

Teach for America Battled Teacher Shortage in Arizona

PHOENIX, AZ (November 4, 2014) – Teach For America–Phoenix today announced a matching challenge, with the potential to raise $1.5 million, in an effort to recruit and prepare up to 100 new teachers in the metro Phoenix area within the next year. The challenge, issued by The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, will help raise critical funds to support the continuation of vital educator development programs that impact high-risk, underserved schools. 

The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation will match all donations, two-to-one, up to a million dollars between now and November 30, 2014. The matching challenge will ensure that Teach For America–Phoenix is able to continue to serve district and charter schools across the state as an additional source of talented and diverse educators for high-need, low-income classrooms. This service is particularly critical given recent reports of teacher shortages across the state that disproportionately impact students in under-resourced communities.

“Bob and I believe that Teach for America’s programs are producing highly motivated teachers who have the capacity to change the future for thousands of underserved children in our community,” said Renee Parsons, co-founder of The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation. “These teachers become role models for students who rely heavily on educators for stability, structure, a sense of self-worth and the opportunity to excel.”

More than 700 Teach For America alumni live and work in Arizona, and nearly 70 percent remain in education as teachers, instructional specialists, and school leaders and founders. Virtually all program graduates become lifelong advocates for education and many continue mission-aligned work including policy, advocacy, and nonprofit leadership following their participation.

Bob Parsons Supports Teach for America

“We’re thrilled to receive support from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation,” said Lindsay DeFrancisco, executive director of Teach For America–Phoenix. “By working arm-in-arm with veteran educators, students, families, and community leaders, like Bob and Renee Parsons, to develop teachers who foster truly exceptional classrooms we know we can be an important part of local efforts to transform education for Arizona’s lowest income communities.”

“The future of our state hinges on the success of our teachers and the kids they serve,” said businessman and philanthropist Bob Parsons. “It is our hope that the two-to-one matching challenge will inspire people to get involved and give what they can. Together we can make a lasting difference.”

About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. Today, 10,600 corps members are teaching in 50 urban and rural regions across the country while more than 37,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.