February 10, 2011

Baick set to join Teach for America program

WASHINGTON – Andrea Baick, a member of CUA's field hockey program who will graduate in May of 2011, recently found out that she has been accepted into the prestigious Teach for America program.  Baick will get to work beginning in August when she heads to Baltimore to teach secondary mathematics.

The Teach for America program provides a critical source of well-trained teachers to help break the cycle of educational inequity.  These teachers, called corps members, commit to teach for two years in one of 39 urban and rural regions across the country, going above and beyond traditional expectations to help their students achieve at high levels.

After deciding that she wanted to pursue a spot with Teach for America Baick faced a lengthy and rigorous application process, that consisted of three rounds.  She first had to complete an online application, which included her resume and letter of intent.

Next, Baick went through a phone interview with a representative from the Teach for America program.

The final step was an in-person interview that exceeded five hours.  "The last stage was the most nerve-racking and challenging," Baick said. 

"It included a lesson plan presented to the interviewers and other interviewees, a group discussion and debate, a written exam and a 45-minute personal interview."

Baick credits Gia Cillizza, CUA's Head Field Hockey Coach, for her help throughout the application process, and for all of the guidance and support she gave to Baick during her time as a member of the Cardinals program.

"Coach Cillizza has certainly been the driving force throughout my career as a student-athlete, and now as a Teach for America corps member," Baick explains.  "Not only was her recommendation letter one of the highlights of my application, but her influence on me during the last four years has led me to where I am today."

Baick continued, "Coach Cillizza's faith in me as a student, athlete and leader has given me the confidence to take on all the challenges of the world.  She has pushed me to levels that I never thought I'd reach, and I have subsequently pushed myself to places I never thought I'd get to." 

"I couldn't be more proud of Andrea for everything she has accomplished and her growth over the last four years," Cillizza said.  "She certainly had a terrific field hockey career at CUA, but what impressed me most is her ability to lead.  Leadership is tricky and somewhat hard-to-define, but Andrea has the elusive it, and she worked on that plus her academics, her career prospects, her game, and her relationships little by little over four years."

"There is beauty in the growth from a freshman to a senior, and the lessons learned in those few short years are undeniably valuable," Baick says.  "I owe much of my success to Coach Cillizza, because my growth is a direct result of her influence.  I now know that I can take on anything and everything the world has to offer."

"Andrea is able to connect with everyone," Cillizza explains,  "including peers, coaches, parents, professors, staff, kids, strangers.  And she has this beautiful confidence and positive outlook that inspires and engages others – even when she's not feeling that herself.  Andrea is a truly special young woman who epitomizes the type of student-athlete we want at our university.  She is going to be an outstanding asset for the Teach for America program."

Last year Teach for America received a record-breaking number of applications with 46,000, and admission was more selective than ever before, with an acceptance rate of 12 percent.  Teach for America recruits on more than 350 college campuses, seeking top graduates from all academic majors and backgrounds who have demonstrated outstanding achievement, perseverance and leadership. 

Since its inception in the early 1990's, the Teach for America program has impacted more than 3 million students nationwide.

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