Charlie Sedlock ’21 will continue to be in the classroom on a daily basis this fall.
But, not as a Babson College student in Wellesley, Massachusetts, nor as part of a graduate program. Sedlock recently earned an appointment to the prestigious Teach For America program. He will be working in Richmond, California, just north of Oakland, educating and mentoring underprivileged students “who are brilliant, have more potential than me, and have the world at their fingertips.”
“If someone wants to talk about the world, I want to create a space where they can share their experience and apply it,” Sedlock said.
Inspired by Inclusion
Sedlock is familiar with growing up in a challenging school environment. Raised in Kansas, he was the only Jewish student in his class.
“Living there is different,” he said. “It’s conservative, socially, politically, religiously. I never felt like I could be who I wanted to be.”
“I don’t feel like it’s giving back. I feel like it’s a community’s return on investment.”
Charlie Sedlock '21
In addition to education, his gateway from the Midwest to Massachusetts and Babson was through being a resident assistant, where he has fostered a community of emotional, mental, and physical well-being. While Sedlock’s passion for education stems from his mother, who grew up in a single-parent Bronx household, his desire for diversity, equity, and inclusion is traced back to Michael Lara, the assistant director of Multicultural and Identity Programs at Babson, who hired Sedlock as a resident assistant in 2018.
“Charlie just has a good soul. He genuinely cares about other people, about inclusion, about the community,” Lara said. “Teach for America is lucky to have him.”
Sedlock also expressed gratitude to both friends and faculty.
“There are so many here at Babson who helped make this opportunity possible,” he said. “This would not be complete without acknowledging Marjorie Feld and Kevin Bruyneel for their academic creativity, and Natalia Castellanos ’21 and Linh Ha ’21 for their constant energy.”
An Energizing Career
Teach for America strives for education excellence and equity for under-resourced children who grow up within disenfranchised communities. Of the 1.3 million students who drop out of high school in the United States, more than half are students of color, and the majority come from low-income families.
Students such as Sedlock are placed in these communities for appointments of two years with the mission to establish a more fair learning environment.
“I wanted work to be something I look forward to, something that energizes me,” Sedlock said, reflecting on why he became a teacher.
Teach for America’s rigorous application process includes a sample teaching lesson, a case activity related to eliminating racial discipline disparities, and personal one-on-one interviews. It culminates with just a handful of selections.
“I don’t feel like it’s giving back. I feel like it’s a community’s return on investment,” Sedlock said. “There’s nothing to give back that wasn’t originally given to me.”
Once he’s teaching in person, Sedlock envisions himself riding his bike or Bay Area Rapid Transit to his soon-to-be assigned school every day.
“I don’t expect it to be easy. It’s going to be a technological endeavor with 24 young minds, entirely online or in a hybrid setting, but I’m up for a challenge,” he said. “These students are left with the task of growing up fast. I want my classroom to be somewhere where they’re allowed to be curious young individuals.”