South Valley Academy
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Tara Perea believes that teachers can be the instruments to help resolve the injustices students encounter in their lives. “Teachers not only impart academic knowledge, they also have an opportunity to build confidence, offer support and help students gain a voice in society where they have often been silenced.”
Tara assistant taught at Stanford University’s summer Education Program for Gifted Youth, but her decision to become a teacher was solidified during AmeriCorps’ City Year program in San Jose, Calif., where she helped run an afterschool program at an underserved elementary school. One of Tara’s most memorable experiences there was helping change a sixth grader’s outlook on mathematics as something “only boys did well.” In creating a learning environment where the girl could thrive, Tara “helped her break down the multiple barriers that society had placed on her” and confirmed her own career goal.
Nearly fluent in Spanish, Tara graduated from the Albuquerque Academy and earned a BS from Stanford University. A puzzle enthusiast, Tara has incorporated her fascination with finding multiple ways to solve the Rubik’s cube into a Logic and Problem Solving course for her summer camp students. Tara is the recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Leonore Annenberg Fellowship and the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. An avid runner who has completed several half-marathons and 5K races, she hopes to teach in her hometown of Albuquerque.