Baick credits field hockey for acceptance into Teach for America Program

Aug. 02, 2011, 2:24 p.m. (ET)

Some may say Andrea Baick is lucky. Those that know her will likely say something different.

Andrea graduated from Catholic University in Washington D.C this spring. Like the other thousands of college graduates, Andrea was met with the task of finding a job as soon as the diploma touched her hand and she waved her college career goodbye.

Andrea was an all-star both on and off the field throughout her four years. She was a key starter and a two year captain of her Division III field hockey team. She also maintained a high academic standing, earning a 4.0 GPA during her 2009 season.

“I really learned that perseverance is the key to success,” says Baick. “I really had never learned the value of hard work and leadership until I played field hockey. Because of field hockey, I know that nothing in life comes easy, and that working towards achieving a big goal is the best feeling that life offers. Because of field hockey, I was able to gain a sense of confidence, leadership, and empowerment that I don't think could have been attained anywhere else.”

Andrea applied for a position with Teach for America, a program in which nearly 40,000 people apply but only 3,600 are selected. Teach for America is designated to help underprivileged boys and girls in underfunded communities get the education that they need and deserve. Starting in 1990, the program had roughly 500 teachers involved. There are now over 8,000 Teach for America members providing an education to nearly a half million children each year.

While submitting an application for such a selective program seemed like a long shot, Andrea quickly learned she was a top candidate and in contention for the job of a lifetime.  

Now a Teach for America middle school math teacher in Baltimore, Maryland, Andrea credits her acceptance into the prestigious program largely in part to field hockey. Her time commitment throughout the years and the leadership skills she developed only contributing to her landing a dream job right after college.

“Field Hockey has largely shaped me into the person that I am today,” sayd Baick. “My leadership, perseverance, and motivation skills are a direct result of my career. I have been coaching field hockey for about five years now, including Futures for three, and the similarities between coaching and teaching are paramount. When I coach developing field hockey players, there is no better feeling than seeing my words turn into action on the field.”

Andrea believes sports teach valuable life lessons and build character in youth. Sports provide opportunities and educate children in a unique style that can not be matched in any other factor of life.

“After joining Teach For America, it is clear that not only are children deprived of an opportunity to compete in athletics, but they are also deprived of an excellent education,” says Baick. “Before providing opportunities for sports, it is essential that every child obtains a quality education. I hope to be a stepping stone on the path to closing the achievement gap that society faces today. I know it's going to be a tough road, but it is now my duty to be a life-long advocate for educational equity, and I hope that by joining the movement, I can make just a small difference in all of my students' lives.”