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FRA | Nov 11, 2021

Jamaica-born Keisha Thorpe wins million-dollar Global Teacher Prize

/ Our Today

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(Photo contributed)

Keisha Thorpe is a million-dollar teacher today after winning the coveted Global Teacher Prize in Paris on Wednesday (November 10).

The Jamaica-born educator emerged victorious from a pool of 8,000 teachers from across the globe who had been nominated or who had applied for the prestigious prize founded by the Varkey Foundation in 2015.

The Varkey Foundation is the philanthropic arm of GEMS Education, a company that owns and operates private K-12 GEMS schools in several countries including Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

Thorpe, who was born to modest circumstances in Jamaica, migrated to the United States to take up an athletic scholarship, teaches at the International High School Langley Park in Bladensburg, Maryland.

“This is to encourage every little Black boy and girl that looks like me, and every child in the world that feels marginalized and has a story like mine, and felt they never mattered,” Thorpe said Wednesday, adding that she would use the money to expand projects she has started to help disadvantaged students attend college without debt and to provide other services for immigrant children and families.

Thorpe and her sister Treisha, who accompanied her to Paris for the announcement, co-founded the US Elite International Track and Field, which provides athletes from impoverished backgrounds a chance to compete internationally.

Keisha Thorpe poses with the Global Teacher Prize trophy. (Photo contributed)

She is also the founder of the Hope Beyond Distance Foundation and Food4Change, a programme offering support services to immigrant students and their families.

Her commitment to mentoring students – all immigrants themselves – and helping them find paths to higher education saw her named National Life Group’s ‘Lifechanger of the Year’ Grand Prize Winner for the 2018-2019 School Year, an award for teachers who inspire and go above and beyond for their students.

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