What is it?
The Teach For America – Las Vegas Valley & the Zappos Family of Companies Alternative Spring Break is intended to spark bold, new innovations that expand opportunities and close the achievement gap in the Las Vegas Valley community. Applicants will submit a response to one of three challenges being posed via video by three Las Vegas Valley corps members. Twenty five students from across the country will be selected and will be invited to join Teach For America- Las Vegas Valley, the Zappos Family of Companies, and Las Vegas Valley community leaders for an all expenses paid alternative spring break trip to the Las Vegas Valley in March. Programming will be Monday to Friday (with travel on Sunday, the 18th and Saturday, the 24th) and will include travel, all meals, activities, and housing, which will be with current Las Vegas Valley corps members. Participants will continue the spirit of social innovation and tackle community, school, and business challenges in Las Vegas with the Zappos Family of Companies, Teach For America corps members and staff, and other Las Vegas Valley community leaders.
Who’s it for?
You must be a freshman, sophomore, or junior in college who can attend a spring break between March 18th and March 24th. We are seeking applicants who are passionate about and driven by the objective of expanding opportunities for all children, especially in low income communities. Although prior experience working in education is not required, all participants should show evidence of a strong desire to learn about the achievement gap and a commitment to closing it.
Additionally, we are looking for participants who are risk-friendly and open to trying out new approaches or taking less-familiar pathways. The ability to inspire and invest others in your goals or vision is also critical.
How does it work?
The online application submission platform will open on December 5th at 9am EDT and will close on January 29th, 2012 at 5pm PDT. The application form will consist of two parts outlined below. All components must be submitted by the closing date to be considered. No late submissions or applications submitted through channels other than this platform will be considered. Selected applicants will receive additional information about programming in early February.
Use the following materials to complete your Challenge application.
Video Challenges (To access, use the password: tfalvv1)
We also want to provide you with additional insight into the Las Vegas Valley community. Please review this community narrative and feel free to reference information within in your response to the challenges posed above. Tony Hsieh is also spearheading the Downtown Project and Teach For America is partnering on this as well. You can read about that here.
Applicants will be judged on three main components: innovation in approach, a deep commitment to impacting education equity, and entrepreneurial drive. Read more about the criteria.
About the Partnership
Our partnership with the Zappos Family of Companies and its CEO Tony Hsieh adds critical energy to our efforts to provide all Las Vegas Valley children with the educational opportunities they deserve. As members of their school communities, our corps members are invested in the transformation of the Las Vegas community. We instill understanding and investment in our corps members to ensure they are active participants in the community, including recent efforts to revitalize the downtown. Thanks to the generous support of the Zappos Family of Companies and the leadership of Tony Hsieh, this partnership will 1) help Teach For America attract talented individuals to the LVV community in the years to come, 2) create opportunities for corps members and alumni to engage more deeply in Las Vegas’ downtown community, 3) allow the Zappos Family of Companies staff members to engage more directly in Teach For America’s work in our community’s highest-need classrooms, and 4) facilitate best practice sharing between both organizations.