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Catching Up with Former American Dream Fellow, Jennifer Aguirre

Jennifer Aguirre, one of the inaugural American Dream Fellows, completed her time as a Fellow in July 2015. The Cisneros Center sat down with Jennifer to hear how her experience in Northwest Arkansas has shaped her career trajectory. Jennifer now works as a regional director at Teach in Washington, D.C. Teach is dedicated to recruiting the next generation of teachers.

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Jennifer Aguirre:

I think that with the fellowship I was given a lot of the administrative and logistical skills to set up a start up. I learned how to plan specific goals in an organization, how to create a leadership program and also how to bring partners together to effectively create a coalition.

With my job now,as a regional director for Teach in DC, I am in charge of leading their internship program at 6 different universities. I work with a team of ten students, who are currently in college. Because it’s a startup, they didn’t have an actual internship program. So I took it upon myself to mirror what I did at the center and do it with the Teach program.

I was able to work with eleven students last semester and develop their leadership essentially. That is something that I grew to really enjoy doing while at the Center, working with young people and really helping them develop their skills. I created a leadership program opportunity for students working with me and was able to get two of them to go into teaching programs. It was cool to see them become passionate about education and then become a teacher. That’s just something that’s exciting for me.

Because we’re a startup and the leadership team is a small, and because of my experience, I’ve been able to provide my ideas and offer my assistance when it comes to working on program and authorizations. I was able to bring that to the table.

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