THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (April 14, 2008) -- For the 13 million children growing up in poverty in this country today, disparities in educational outcomes will limit opportunities in life. This week, Dr. Joseph Miletich, senior vice president of Research and Development at Amgen, will be one of more than 150 distinguished guest teachers in classrooms across the nation participating in Teach For America Week, an annual event that raises awareness about the challenges facing students in low-income communities and the promise these students have to offer.
Dr. Miletich will be a guest teacher in an eighth-grade science class at Los Angeles Unified School District's Foshay Learning Center. He will share with students his personal education and science career path, talk about the life of a professional scientist, and answer student questions.
"A passion for science begins early," said Dr. Miletich. "I hope sharing my education and career paths as well as my excitement for science can help inspire these bright young students to strive for their goals both in and outside the classroom."
Dr. Miletich will be a guest teacher in the classroom of Eloy Romero, a Teach For America corps member and Amgen Fellow. Teach For America is the national corps of top college graduates who commit two years to teach in underserved public schools and become lifelong leaders in pursuit of educational equity. In 2006, the Amgen Foundation joined Teach For America as its National Math and Science Partner. The Amgen Foundation pledged $5 million over five years towards the partnership to bring outstanding math and science teachers to our country's lowest-income communities. Each year, 50 math, science and engineering college graduates are designated Amgen Fellows and receive a signing bonus for joining Teach For America, in addition to support of their attendance at the annual Amgen-Teach For America Mathematics and Science Summit.
"The Amgen Foundation is committed to advancing science education through programs that support both teachers and students," said Jean J. Lim, president of the Amgen Foundation. "We're excited that during Teach For America Week, we can bring together an Amgen scientist and an Amgen Fellow to show the students how a love of science can translate to a variety of career paths and opportunities."
Each year, Teach For America Week brings leaders from a variety of sectors into classrooms across the nation to serve as guest teachers, inspiring students and raising awareness of educational inequity. Since its launch in 1997, Teach For America Week has enlisted thousands of America's most notable figures to share their knowledge and personal insights with thousands of students in urban and rural public schools. This year, Teach For America Week is taking place from April 14-18. In classrooms across the nation, more than 150 distinguished guest teachers will see first hand that when students are given the educational opportunities they deserve, they excel.
"The educational disparities between students in low-income communities throughout Los Angeles and their higher-income peers throughout the state are staggering, but they can be closed," said Brian Johnson, executive director of Teach For America -- Los Angeles. "We need leaders from every sector, inside and outside of the classroom, working together to provide all students with the excellent education they deserve. Dr. Miletich's participation in this year's Teach For America week and Amgen's partnership with the organization are both excellent examples of that kind of commitment it will take to bring the best leaders to our classrooms."
Foshay Learning Center, where Dr. Miletich will be participating, is a K-12 school of the Los Angeles Unified School District. It is located just southwest of Downtown Los Angeles in the Exposition Park area. The school serves a low-income community with a student body that is 76 percent Latino and 23 percent African American. Teach For America currently has five corps members teaching at the school.
Additional corporations involved in Teach For America Week in the Los Angeles area include Universal Studios, Creative Artists Agency, Wachovia Corp., KB Homes, and Disc Marketing, Inc.
About the Amgen Foundation
The Amgen Foundation seeks to advance science education, improve patient access to quality care, and strengthen the communities where Amgen staff members live and work. Since 1991, the foundation has made nearly $110 million in grants to local, regional, and national nonprofit organizations that impact society in inspiring and innovative ways. It has also supported disaster relief efforts both domestically and internationally.
About Teach For America
Teach For America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in expanding educational opportunity. This year, more than 5,000 corps members are teaching in over 1,000 schools in 26 regions across the country, and more than 12,000 Teach For America alumni continue working from inside and outside the field of education for the fundamental changes necessary to ensure educational excellence and equity. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org.
Kristen Davis, (805) 447-3008