Superheroes have become household names in the past decade. It’s hardly a month between superhero movies being released in theatres, and hardly a Christmas that goes without some superhero finding its way under the tree. But the real heroes – the ones that make tangible differences in the lives of Americans – are often people who go their whole lives without recognition. If you asked the average person who this particular hero is, they wouldn’t be able to tell you. This hero helped transform the life of Mitch Brown.

Mitch was the only son of a single mother in the East Hills neighborhood in Pittsburgh. His mother worked two full-time jobs to keep food on the table for him and his sisters. Despite living in a community where the unemployment rate was high, and crime tended to be high, too, Mitch aimed to become a writer. He channeled a lot of his free time into his writing, but struggled in school to keep up. The school system was failing him, but that didn’t stop him from writing.

That’s where Teach for America (TFA) stepped in. With their focus on helping bridge the gap between lower income areas in the greater Philadelphia area (including Pittsburgh), they help students throughout the area to receive an inclusive education. Through TFA, Mitch was able to get the help he needed for his undiagnosed dyslexia and began to excel in his English and writing classes. Today, Mitch works for a poetry press in Philadelphia and donates his time to local schools bringing the gift of reading to local children. He continues to write, and his individual poems have been featured in many different literary journals worldwide. To this day, he thanks his teacher from TFA for his successes and his continued passion for literature and writing.

Spark Pod believes in the power of everyday superheroes – like those at Teach for America. Your continued support of our organization allows us to create more superheroes and continue to change the world for the better.