Teach for America

The best and the brightest applauded at record-setting Teach for America gala dinner

Teach for America honors best and brightest at record-setting dinner

4 Scott McClelland, from left, Luis Elizondo-Thomson and Doug Foshee at the Teach for America event November 2014.
Scott McClelland, from left, Luis Elizondo-Thomson and Doug Foshee. Photo by © Adolfo Chavez III
10 Parisa Behzabi, from left, Eldridge Gilbert, Jamar Johnson and Rebecca Ingle at the Teach for America event November 2014
Parisa Behzabi, from left, Eldridge Gilbert, Jamar Johnson and Rebecca Ingle. Photo by © Adolfo Chavez III
9 Amber Nicole at the Teach for America event November 2014
Amber Nicole. Photo by © Adolfo Chavez III
1 Adeeb Barqawi, left, and Adrian Garcia at the Teach for America event November 2014
Adeeb Barqawi, left, and Adrian Garcia. Photo by © Adolfo Chavez III
8 Ryan Beeler, from left, Devan Courtois and Kenzie Massey at the Teach for America event November 2014
Ryan Beeler, from left, Devan Courtois and Kenzie Massey. Photo by © Adolfo Chavez III
7 Helen Hailmariam, left, and Emily Hanno at the Teach for America event November 2014.
Helen Hailmariam, left, and Emily Hanno. Photo by © Adolfo Chavez III
5 Elisa Villanueva Beard and Terry Grier at the Teach for America event November 2014.
Elisa Villanueva Beard and Terry Grier. Photo by © Adolfo Chavez III
3 Jay Crotts, left, and Luis Elizondo-Thomson at the Teach for America event November 2014
Jay Crotts, left, and Luis Elizondo-Thomson. Photo by © Adolfo Chavez III
13 Teach For America staff at the Teach for America event November 2014
Teach For America staff gather before the dinner. Photo by © Adolfo Chavez III
4 Scott McClelland, from left, Luis Elizondo-Thomson and Doug Foshee at the Teach for America event November 2014.
10 Parisa Behzabi, from left, Eldridge Gilbert, Jamar Johnson and Rebecca Ingle at the Teach for America event November 2014
9 Amber Nicole at the Teach for America event November 2014
1 Adeeb Barqawi, left, and Adrian Garcia at the Teach for America event November 2014
8 Ryan Beeler, from left, Devan Courtois and Kenzie Massey at the Teach for America event November 2014
7 Helen Hailmariam, left, and Emily Hanno at the Teach for America event November 2014.
5 Elisa Villanueva Beard and Terry Grier at the Teach for America event November 2014.
3 Jay Crotts, left, and Luis Elizondo-Thomson at the Teach for America event November 2014
13 Teach For America staff at the Teach for America event November 2014

There are testimonials at fundraising events and then there are testimonials. Some pull at the heartstrings. Others inspire generous giving. The Teach for America dinner was a powerful combination of both. When all was said and done the evening raised a record $1.5 million.

Applause, applause for chairs Scott McClelland, H-E-B Central Market president, and Doug Foshee, chairman and CEO of Sallyport Investments, and young professional chairs Caitlin Mullen Pickard and Maryam Tabatabai.

They led the charge in fundraising at the Hilton Americas-Houston for what one could call the first responders in the battle for better education — the best and brightest from universities across the country who delay or completely forgo high-paying jobs in the private sector to teach in some of the nation's poorest school districts.

Key phrases expressed on this evening included "incubator of social change," "we care about kids" and "instill hope through education." Teach for America Houston executive director Luis Elizondo-Thomson was among the inspiring speakers as were teachers Adeeb Barqawi and Alexa Ruiz with her charming young student Favian Liggins.

Supporters in the gathering included HISD Superintendent Terry Grier, Sheriff Adrian GarciaCarol and Mike Linn, Sarah Foshee, Soraya McClelland, Cathryn and Douglas Selman, Grace Kim, Kelly Krohn and Michael Feinberg.