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Supporting Future Teachers

At Colorado Youth for a Change, one of the aspects of our work that we are most proud of is that we support success at “both ends of the classroom” with our student-focused programs that deploy AmeriCorps members, many of whom become teachers after serving with us.

In early 2022, Colorado Youth for a Change (CYC) posted a blog that featured research on the teacher shortage in Colorado, as well as the perceptions and barriers that existed for our AmeriCorps members in the transition from service to teaching. We’re excited to build on this research and share more about the AmeriCorps members and partners who are forging innovative paths ahead. 

Partnering to Multiply Impact

This fall, we’ll work with up to 20 individuals taking part in the AmeriCorps Alternative Residency Program. This program leverages a partnership between CYC and The Public Education & Business Coalition (PEBC) and creates a pipeline for individuals already interested in education careers to enter the workforce. These individuals can complete their required student teaching via two tracks but regardless of their choice, they will be eligible for licensure after just two years.  

Innovative partnerships with PEBC and the Colorado Department of Education make this work possible, as AmeriCorps members can build on their experience serving in schools while getting paid for the full year AND earning a teaching certification.

“This partnership bridges substantial barriers to access to the profession such as a living wage, health insurance, and extensive support during the training year and the teacher’s first years in the classroom,” said PEBC Senior Director of Residency Jessamyn Lockhart. “Through this partnership, [we] hope to significantly contribute to Colorado’s teacher shortage solution and train teachers worthy of each and every student in our communities.”

Meet a few of our future teachers!

Name: Syntya Guzman

Current program: Corps for a Change

Current service site: New America School, Aurora

Wants to teach: Secondary English

“I was looking for a way to get involved in the education system and an opportunity to serve my community. AmeriCorps allowed me to do that and gain experience in education. I then heard about the pathway program through an AmeriCorps member training early in the year, but it was just an idea at that time. What got me interested was the experiences I had through my service term. My students inspired me, and it felt like I was meant to be here.”

Name: Ashley Lacy

Current program: Reading Corps

Current service site: Riverview Elementary in Thompson School District

Wants to teach: Early childhood education or middle school history

“I was a stay-at-home mom of twins for a while, but prior to that I was going for my teaching licensure. With having kids and things not going as planned, I wanted to get back into teaching and that’s what brought me to AmeriCorps with CYC. We received resources at the beginning of our service term about PEBC, and I knew that this was my opportunity to get into teaching.”

More information on the program

Aspiring educators will receive nearly 250 hours of instruction and over 1,500 hours of classroom experience. These hours include a Summer Institute training, weekly seminar content aligned to the Colorado Teacher Quality Standards, and regular coaching to help members connect theory to practice with students. In addition, residents receive extensive induction support and are eligible to receive professional development from PEBC through their first five years as a teacher. PEBC staff will partner with districts and schools where AmeriCorps members are serving to ensure the cultural relevance of all coaching and coursework so that members are genuinely meeting the needs of each community.  

If you or someone you know would like to partner AmeriCorps service with a future career in education, we are hiring AmeriCorps members for the 2023-2024 school year. Learn more at

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