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 trying to close the achievement gap for vulnerable students. Through TFA, Jennifer taught middle school English language learners in Washington, DC while earning her Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) 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 D.C. 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 worked with unaccompanied minors in East Oakland and earned a Master’s degree in the Principal Leadership Program of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Jennifer is now headed to Peru for 1-2 years as a US State Department English Language Fellow.