"I deeply believe that the pursuit of our true story is fueled by the amazing people we are individually and collectively. In that sense, my ongoing tenure with Teach For America has been purposeful in creating my story: constructing more equitable schools in America. Swimming has been a powerful tool leading to this purpose because it has allowed me to attend a college that was outside of my financial reach. A four-year scholarship set me with a degree from Fordham University and allowed me to prepare for my career well. But I quickly realized during my studies that I was living amongst a disparity. The surrounding neighborhood of schools in New York was quite poor. I was living in a beautiful campus that costs millions in upkeep. But then I would take one step out of the campus and experience a whole different world. Systematic barriers like racism and classism kept kids and communities from reaching their full potential. I now know that the key to helping my own story fully blossom is through the sustenance of others and community."
Hero: John Stoneburner is a managing director at Teach For America.