Thais Jefferson - Why I Believe Memphis Academy

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Napoleon Hill wrote, “Education comes from within; you get it by struggle, effort, and thought”. I was very fortunate to have learning experiences in both California and Maryland. These experiences allowed me to encounter different teachers and many learning experiences that have had a lasting impact on my life. It was not until I moved to Memphis to attend college, did I truly understand the inequities and injustices in our educational system based on one’s zip code.

Memphis has always had a special place in my heart. It is where I first discovered my opportunity to teach through the Lasallian Volunteers and to embark on a very unexpected journey. It was the first time I encountered the many hardships students around our country face day-to-day. I did not realize I had taken for granted being able to have a bus pick me up and take me to a high performing school based on simply a zip code. During those two years of volunteer work in Philadelphia, I learned that I wanted to make a difference and truly commit to teaching, which led me back to Memphis. I love the feel of the community while walking down the street or walking to the local corner store to grab a snack. There is never a dull moment in our beautiful city.

While there is so much change and excitement happening throughout our city, I know Believe Memphis Academy will be a force of change specifically toward providing the sound literacy and experiential learning opportunities our students deserve. I am very excited to work with passionate and experienced educators who will support our community and work together as a team to make a true impact on the lives of our students and families in Memphis.

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Thais Jefferson is the Founding Scholar Supports Coordinator of Believe Memphis Academy. In her role, she will ensure all scholars receive the supports they need to be successful, particularly focusing on our scholars who need more interventions and supports. Ms. Jefferson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Special Education from Christian Brothers University. She brings five years of experience working in special education in Memphis, and we are so excited for her to bring her passion and knowledge to play an integral part in building our mission for ALL scholars in our school.

Danny Song