As a company, we believe in supporting youth empowerment and education, so when it came time to select an organization to support, Teach For America was a natural choice. If you’re not familiar with Teach for America, you should be. Teach For America is a national teacher corps of recent college graduates who commit a minimum of two years to teach in under-resourced urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to expand educational opportunity.
In October, Marcie Eberhart, Director of the AEO Foundation, along with AEO Style Director, Preston Konrad and Lauren Rourke, Manager of Styling, visited a classroom at New York City public school Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School, also known as WHEELS, to talk fashion and the importance of education. WHEELS, founded by Teach For America alumnus Brett Kimmel (Houston Corps ‘96), serves 650 students in grades six through 12, nearly all of whom are people of color and 100 percent of whom are growing up in poverty. The school is posting impressive results; students exceed the citywide average pass rates on the Regents exams and 100 percent of their graduates have been accepted to college in the past several years. Preston and Lauren spoke about their journey through the fashion industry, eventually landing the job of their dreams at AEO, and spent time answering the students’ questions.
This holiday season, we’re asking you to help give back. When you purchase an AEO gift box in stores for 50 cents, you will help a child in need. 100% of proceeds from gift box sales will be donated to Teach For America (up to $100,000) to sponsor 18 classrooms for one year.