A high school teacher from Maryland surpassed more than 8,000 nominations to earn the Varkey Foundation’s $1 million Global Teacher Prize.
Keishia Thorpe, a teacher at International High School at Langley Park in Prince George’s County, was selected among thousands of teachers from 121 countries worldwide, CBS News reports.
Her work as a teacher includes reworking the 12th grade English curriculum to make it more representative of her students and launching college readiness initiatives that won students $6.7 million in scholarships during the 2018-2019 school year,
“Education is a human right, and all children should be entitled to have access to it,” Thorpe said during the ceremony. “So this recognition is not just about me, but about all the dreamers who work so hard and dare to dream of ending generational poverty.”
Thorpe, a native of Jamaica who came to American on a track and field scholarship, got an early start on advocating for education. Along with her twin sister Dr. Treisha Thorpe, the two founded the nonprofit U.S. Elite International Track and Field that aims to help “at-risk” student-athletes around the world pursue scholarships to U.S. colleges and universities.
“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,” Thorpe said. “This is why teachers will always matter. Teachers matter.”
This isn’t the first time Thorpe has been rewarded for her efforts in education. For the 2018-2019 school year, she was named National Life Changer of the Year. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan also awarded Thorpe with the Medal of Excellence for her work toward inclusion in education.
“This is to encourage every little Black boy and girl that looks like me and every child in the world that feels marginalized and has a story like mine and felt they never mattered.