Jennifer Ventimiglia, empowering others
Jennifer Ventimiglia, an April 2005 graduate, wanted to do something meaningful with her education. It was out of that desire that she applied for Teach For America to become part of a network of individuals working closely together to close the achievement gap for our nation’s most vulnerable students. Through TFA, Jennifer taught middle school English Language Learners in Washington, DC while earning her Master’s of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at American University. Wanting to better understand her predominately Central American students’ language and culture, she joined Peace Corps and served as an Environmental Education volunteer in Nicaragua. Now fluent in Spanish and more knowledgeable about her students’ educational and social backgrounds, Jennifer returned to her school in DC and served her students and community for 6 more years, as a teacher, ELL coordinator, and department chair. Using project-based learning to empower her students to solve problems in their communities, Jennifer earned a Fulbright scholarship to teach in Prague and share this methodology with teachers, parents, and educational leaders around the Czech Republic and Poland. Loving the classroom, but also wanting to explore making an impact in another realm of education, Jennifer spent the next 2 years working in Chile through the Teach for All network. Jennifer served as a new teacher mentor, curriculum developer, and led trainings for educational leaders on how to support and coach new teachers. After relocating to the Bay Area in 2015, Jennifer is now working with unaccompanied minors in East Oakland and studying at UC Berkeley in the Graduate School of Education’s Principal Leadership Program. Jennifer continues to be driven by a strong desire to live in a world where all children have access to a quality education so they can choose their own futures.