TRUCKEE, Calif. — Brittney Brouwers graduated from Truckee High school in 2010 and attended California State University, Fullerton where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in child and adolescent studies with an emphasis in community and family settings.
She graduated last December, finishing college in 3 1/2 years, and will walk in the graduation ceremony in May to receive a community engagement medal for the extensive amount of community service and internship hours she completed.
Brouwers learned about Teach for America when she was beginning her major and interning in low income school communities in Los Angeles. The staff and counselors reached out to her and suggested this would be a good fit.
They recognized her passion to help improve schools in low income communities and give guidance to children who are struggling.
Getting into Teach for America was a five-step interview process: First she applied online, giving credentials and proof meeting program requirements. Next she submitted a letter of intent and answered five essay questions. Then she moved on to phone interviews. The last step was an all-day, in-person interview.
During this interview, she first gave a sample lesson to the Teach for America Board acting as if they were students. She then participated in a mock teachers’ Board meeting, and lastly had a one-on-one interview with a Teach for America board member.
More than 57,000 applicants applied and only about 15 percent were accepted.
Teach for America gave Brouwers her first choice in placement and grade level, teaching elementary school in the Eastern North Carolina region.
Many Truckee teachers and coaches helped Brouwers to get where she is today.
One coach in particular who stands out is Betsy Hansen. She was Brouwers’ swim team coach four to five years and her seventh-grade teacher at Alder Creek.
“She taught me so much about dedication and hard work in both school and my extra curricular activities,” said Brouwers.
Also, Mrs. Kuch, Brouwers’ Truckee High School math teacher, and Mrs. Akers (Sitro), her elementary second and third-grade teacher made a huge impact.
“Both of these teachers worked with me when I struggled greatly in school and was a very slow and frustrated learner,” said Brouwers. “They worked with me before school, during lunch and breaks, and after school. I will never forget all the help they gave me, enabling me to succeed.
“Of course, I could not have done it with out all my teachers and great school district helping me along the way.”
Teach for America provides intensive training, support and career development that helps leaders increase their impact and deepen their understanding of what it takes to provide an excellent education for underserved kids. For more information visit www.teachforamerica.org.