Wendy Kopp, the founder of TeachforAmerica was absolutely brilliant in her interview with Bill Hybels.  In the past, at the Summit they have put some of the speakers who they weren’t as confident about their communication skills into this format.  But her story, vision and passion was tremendously compelling.  Personally, the way she talked about the cause of TeachforAmerica and recruiting young leaders had direct application for NewThing.  NewThing is looking for the top emerging young leaders to plant 120 churches in the major markets of the United States in the next three years.  So many things she said are along the same lines of our thinking.  Here are a few things that she said that stood out to me:

  • “13 million kids live below poverty line in US and half won’t graduate high school. This education gap doesn’t have to exist.”
  • “I had no idea that my idea was crazy.”
  • “I knew that graduating students would make the sacrifice to teach two years in at risk schools because I was just a student.”
  • “I don’t believe that I am asking them to make a sacrifice…I’m giving them an opportunity.  If you want to live a life of significance and meaning this is a way to do it.”
  • “We went after a large scale organization from the start.  We wanted to immediately become the thing to do.   It had to be that we are building a movement.   We based it on the start of the launch of the Peace Corp who was started with 500 people.  The 500 people gave it a national significance form the beginning.  After we built Teach for America we spent the next few years putting the structures into place.”
  • “Talent and leadership are everything.”
  • “I know that this is one of the most powerful groups (church leaders) that I could speak to…it is a moral imperative that we solve the problem of education.”

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