Maryland Teacher Keishia Thorpe Wins $1 Million Global Teacher Prize

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Maryland educator Keishia Thorpe took home the prestigious Global Teacher Prize for her unwavering efforts to help young immigrant students succeed. The $1 million prize, she said, wasn't just about her, but also about her students and others who work hard.

"This recognition is not just about me, but about all the dreamers who worked so hard and dare to dream of ending generational poverty," the educator said at the ceremony held in Paris via video conference.

Thorpe immigrated to the US from Jamaica as a child and uses her teaching career to help students stay the course and remain motivated in achieving their goals.

"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," Thorpe added. "This is also for every teacher across the globe who shows up every day in the classroom, to teach their students and transform their lives."

In addition to teaching English to 12-grade English learners, Thorpe founded Food4Change, an organization that supports immigrant families in the Bladensburg, Maryland community.

"Every child needs a champion, an adult who never, ever give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists they become the very best they can possibly be. And this is exactly why teachers will always matter. Teachers matter," she concluded.

The Global Teacher Prize is organized by UNESCO and the Varkey Foundation and was first awarded in 2015. Thorpe was selected out of more than 8,000 applicants and nominations for this year's award.

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