Profiles of Progress: Tim Garcia, BTNY Graduate, Teach for America

A Breakthrough New York graduate, Timothy Garcia wanted to move to the head of the class – so he served as a BTNY Teaching Fellow.

“Teaching at Breakthrough New York rearranged my perspective and my priorities,” he says. “I became much more interested in educational nonprofits and knowledgeable about achievement gaps in this country.”

Teaching Fellows are high-achieving undergraduates, top students from elite colleges across the country. Each summer, BTNY attracts more than 600 applications – but only can select 24 per site. This summer, with the launch of a third program site, BTNY will recruit 56 Teaching Fellows.

Timothy taught during breaks from Middlebury College in 2012 and 2013.

“The most valuable things I learned were how to be in a high stress situation all of the time and how to manage my time and responsibilities better,” he says. “It helped me to understand the professional world.”

“The staff are all compassionate, hard working and passionate about Breakthrough New York,” says Timothy, who graduated in 2014.

Like many of his Teaching Fellow brethren, Garcia envisioned a career in education because of his experience. He now teaches history to 8th grade students at Leadership Prep Bedford Stuyvesant Middle Academy as part of Teach For America.

“It’s a life-changing internship,” he says. “You have to be willing to take risks, to step out of your comfort zone, be creative and goal-oriented, and be organized.”