TFA Graduate Fellows Program

Cohort 3

Alissa Rashid

Master of Education in Elementary Education

Clarksdale, MS


Alissa firmly believes in finding joy in every single day and motivating those around her to achieve their greatest selves.

Alissa grew up in Neenah, Wisconsin and has always loved her close-knit, Midwest hometown. She received her bachelor’s from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University in Cognitive Studies. She loved learning about how children develop, think, and how their brains process information. Her degree has provided her with a firm foundation and sparked her interest in the exploring the vastly different educational experiences. Through various service experiences in college, Alissa invested herself in education when she continued to see the inequity that persisted in Nashville and across the country. She believed in the power of education and the importance that all children should have access to an excellent education.

After graduating, Alissa joined Teach for America and taught for two years in the Mississippi Delta. The longer she has stayed, the more invested she has become and realized the positive, joyful, and rich narrative the Delta actually exudes. Alissa continues to teach in the Delta and is grateful to enjoy life somewhere so different from her home.

Throughout college and during her years teaching in Mississippi, Alissa has been inspired by the power of technology as a tool for students to change the world. Her social entrepreneurship project focuses on using coding and technology as a vehicle for student-led learning. Her plan includes creating an after-school program where students are given various tasks to collaboratively problem solve. In the process, students learn how to communicate, work together, critically problem solve, and exhibit grit when they are not successful. The true power of technology is illuminated when students drive their own learning and use technology to create something powerful, rather than consume technology. Alissa believes with the rapidly changing world, we need to equip students with skills they can use, no matter what educational path they may eventually pursue. Her project hopes to spark an interest in coding and technology for students to be equipped with a skill and passion they can continue to develop while simultaneously teaching them life-long skills in problem solving, collaboration, communicating ideas, and exhibiting grit.

Fun Fact: Alissa had a massive tree fall on her while in college!

Harrison Wood