Charlie is the Program Director for the State Educator Voice Fellowships. After joining America Achieves’ national fellowship team, he led the initiative to create state-wide teacher and principal fellowships in Colorado, Michigan, and New York. His career began as a fifth grade teacher in St. Louis, where he founded an after-school sports club. After teaching, he earned a Master of Public Policy from the University of Maryland. As a graduate assistant at Maryland’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, he co-founded the Do Good Challenge, a campus-wide social impact prize competition. Charlie attended public schools in West Virginia and Indiana that prepared him to earn a BA in Economics from the University of Notre Dame. Charlie loves playing sports, traveling, cooking, and attending live music performances. He is on the Executive Board of New Leaders Council DC.
Q & A
What draws you to the work of America Achieves?
My first experience with true poverty – when I was working at a Boys and Girls Club not far from my parents’ house – made me realize how privileged I am and motivated me to teach because I hoped that I could help less privileged kids set a course for success in life. However, my experience working alongside inspiring teachers for an outstanding principal in an under-resourced, “failing” urban school taught me that the problems in American public education extend far beyond the classroom or the school. Our entire education systems need reforming and that’s what America Achieves aims to do.
What do we most need to focus on to improve the lives of America’s youth?
We need to ensure that all families have access to strong early childhood and pre-kindergarten education so that America’s most underserved and vulnerable kids don’t begin kindergarten already trailing their more privileged peers. In addition, our nation’s public schools, from early childhood to 12th grade, need to be more equitable so that every American child has the opportunity to be successful in life.