Veale's summer internship at the orphanage was sponsored by New Hope African Children’s Ministries in Uganda.
A student wrote a letter to Veale's mother saying, “Thank you for allowing your son to come to Uganda. He is the one who gives us hope and we be with joy in our hearts.”
After graduation in 2012, Veale will take an assignment in Memphis, Tenn., with Teach For America.
“With joy in our hearts”
The little Ugandan girl couldn’t wait until the lesson was finished to give her teacher, Jeffrey Veale Jr., the letter she had written. The letter was actually addressed to Veale’s mother, and it read in part: “Thank you for allowing your son to come to Uganda. He is the one who gives us hope and we be with joy in our hearts.”
Until then, the UNC public policy major from Lewiston-Woodville, N.C., hadn’t decided on a career path. But reading those heartfelt words, the temporary teacher learned that he was meant to pursue a career in education.
The summer internship at the orphanage sponsored by New Hope African Children’s Ministries in Uganda was a part of Veale’s acceptance to Advocates for Grassroots Development in Uganda (AGRADU), a student initiative associated with the Campus Y. His trip was also made possible with the help of fellowships, including a stipend from University Career Services.
At the Ugandan orphanage, Veale soon realized how challenging teaching can be. His fourth- and fifth-grade students didn’t know how to add or subtract. Working with these struggling students inspired him to do his part to ensure that all students receive a quality education.
“The [education] profession is so powerful,” he said. “You have the ability to impact so many lives.”After graduation in 2012, Veale will begin his career teaching secondary mathematics in Memphis, Tenn., as a corps member with Teach For America, a nonprofit organization looking to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting individuals to teach in low-income communities around the United States.
Veale, and others who are accepted, commit two years, in addition to going through intensive training, to teach at urban and rural public schools. Since its founding in 1989, Teach For America has grown to having 9,300 current corps members teaching in 43 regions across the country. UNC was one of the top five schools contributing the most graduating seniors to the 2011 corps.
Veale also is a Buckley Public Service Scholar as well as co-chair of the APPLES Service-Learning Robert E. Bryan Social Innovation Fellowship.
Published November 21, 2011.