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Friday, April 19, 2024

42-year-old woman wins Global Teacher award in US, bags $1million cash prize

A 42-year-old woman named Keisha Thorpe has won the Global Teacher Award in the United States and was awarded a cash prize worth of 1 million dollars. 

Keisha Thorpe is Jamaican-born who lives in Maryland in the United States and won the Global Teacher Prize Award of 2021 for mentoring and making college education accessible for students who are underprivileged, first-generation Americans, immigrants, or refugees.

The award was given by the Varkey Foundation to Keisha after being selected from over 8,000 nominations and applications from 121 countries around the world. “Education is a human right, and all children should be entitled to have access to it,” Keisha said

”Every child needs a champion, an adult who will never ever give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists they become the very best they can be. This is exactly why teachers will always matter,” she added.

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Keisha teaches English at International High School Langley Park in Maryland. She completely redesigned the 12th-grade curriculum for the English department to make it culturally relevant to her students who are first-generation Americans, immigrants, or refugees from mostly Africa according to the Global Teacher Prize’s website.

Her efforts resulted in a 40% increase in her students’ reading. She was also responsible for helping high school students gain fully-funded scholarships and has helped seniors win $6.7 million in scholarships.

Keisha stated that she understands the struggles of underprivileged students as she herself migrated to the United States from Africa on a track and field scholarship. “When I think about the students and how much their parents are sacrificing for them just to have an equitable education, it reminds me so much of my own journey,” she said.

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Kaisha and her twin sister, Dr. Treisha Thorpe both founded a non-profit organization called U.S. Elite International Track and Field, Inc. that aims to help “at-risk” student-athletes across the globe connect with college coaches to access fully-funded scholarships in the United States.

She was also honored with the Medal of Excellence from the governor of Maryland and was chosen as the National Life Changer of the Year in 2018-2019. Keisha said she plans to use the $1 million prize to help more students worldwide access higher education. 

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