How my TFA Experience Launched a Career in Educational Innovation

Mickey Millsap (Alabama ’11) is the Executive Director for k12 Lean Labs. He reflects on his corps experience and how it opened up huge opportunities in his career.
Monday, August 1, 2016
A headshot of a young white man with curly red hair and a beard, wearing a grey k12 Lean Labs t-shirt, standing in front of a white background.

Why did you join Teach For America? As a startup entrepreneur, I saw a technology skills gap. I believe every child should have the opportunity to lead a successful life and believe that starts with education, unfortunately that is not our current reality. Teach For America was an opportunity to educate myself on the conditions impacting students, teachers, and families, while at the same time having a positive impact on my students.

How has your experience with Teach For America impacted you? Teach For America changed the trajectory of my career. After getting my MBA and starting my first company, I figured I would always have a career in business. TFA not only taught me so much about the struggle for educational inequity, but it opened so many doors to people and organizations that have allowed me to pivot my career towards educational innovation.
 
What are you doing now and how are you continuing to impact students in Alabama? I am the Executive Director of k12 Lean Labs, a Birmingham based K-12 education innovation accelerator program. Our mission is to provide innovators in the education space with the tools, community, and coaching to identify, prototype, test, and launch innovative technologies, programs, and schools that positively impact Alabama teachers, students, and families.