Illustrating the Daniels Fund's impact in the communities we serve

Mary Jean O'Malley

A Daniels Fund Impact Story

Mary Jean O'Malley is a 2005 Daniels Fund Scholar who attended Denver University and now teaches Honors Language Arts in Oklahoma.

College Attended:
University of Denver
Journalism Studies, Political Science, International Studies
Scholarship Year:
How the Daniels Fund Scholarship has impacted my life:

Mary Jean O'Malley  2005 Scholar:

Opening Oppurtunities for Others

I am a 2009 Teach for America Corps Member in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I’m now in my second year of teaching middle school Honors Language Arts and I have about 70 students between my 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classes.  My students experienced great academic and personal successes last year that really motivated me coming into this school year.

College readiness is a huge topic with my 8th graders. As we explore academic and personal growth with college in mind they have struck up a pen-pal relationship with students at James Madison University. My 7th graders are learning, through literature, about issues that effect schools and communities, and will hopefully use some of that information with community projects we work on. My 6th graders are budding scholars who, this year, have really owned their responsibility and focus toward high achievement.  Every day is different and we’re not always 100 percent, but my students are truly amazing.

Teach for America was new to Tulsa when I was accepted to the corps, and the community was very welcoming and kind. My school started the Gifted and Talented program during my first year, and I was assigned as coordinator. Just as TFA was building in Tulsa, I had to learn how to grow as a teacher and a school leader. Thankfully, in both cases, a supportive community has made a world of difference.

When I’m not in the classroom, I’m at my students’ sporting events, reading, or out with friends. I have had such amazing opportunities with my education because of the Daniels Fund, and I hope to open many of those opportunities for my students, as well.