With a record 61 graduates from the Class of 2012 flocking to join Teach For America, Georgetown produced the third-highest number of new recruits from among medium-sized universities this year.

This is the third time in four years that Georgetown has placed third among medium-sized universities, which the organization defines as those with between 3,000 and 9,999 undergraduates.

According to Mike Schaub, executive director of the Cawley Career Education Center at Georgetown, Teach For America is an attractive option for many graduates because it combines community service with opportunities for skill development for later careers.

“Many Georgetown students are dedicated to volunteering and service activities, and they want to find a way to continue serving others after graduation,” Schaub said. “Teach For America is one organization in which graduates can help others while obtaining valuable skills and experiences that will be beneficial to their careers.”

More than 470 Georgetown graduates have volunteered for the organization for two-year terms after graduation, and the number has grown each year, despite an increasingly competitive applicant pool. Only about 12 percent of the 48,000 applicants for the 2012 teaching cycle were hired, hailing from over 600 colleges across the country.

Deven Comen (COL ’12) joined the program after graduating last May and started teaching ninth-grade English at Anacostia Senior High School in southeast Washington, D.C., earlier this month. Comencharacterized the experience as a natural progression from her undergraduate studies.

“Joining Teach For America was kind of like the culmination of … my time at Georgetown, [which was] deeply influenced by Jesuit values of social justice,” Comen said. “Going to school at Georgetown, [I was] surrounded by people so committed to their passions and to helping others.”

Comen, who developed an interest in education throughout her college years teaching abroad in India and Thailand, as well as in D.C. schools through One World Youth Project, added that the experience affords a unique opportunity for leadership not found in most post-graduation pursuits.

“Right out of college, I’m leading a group of students. … All the flexibility I have in determining what I teach and how to teach is different from any other post-graduate career,” she said. “While my friends are in cubicles doing busy work, I feel like I’m really making a difference.”

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