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Marie Appel grew up in a town of 300 in a lower, middle-class family.  She was the first in her family to go to college and scored a scholarship that allowed her to go to Harvard for only $8,000 for her entire four-year education.  While she was at Harvard, Marie earned extra money during various breaks by cleaning the dorms, specifically the showers, using a credit card to scrape off the soap scum on the walls.  But she also participated in amazing experiences at Harvard, like the sailing team, which she believes helped her develop resilience, organization and teamwork — life skills.  All of these experiences — good and bad — inspired Marie, she says, to devote her professional life to improving education for other children, especially those who are economically or socially disadvantaged.  In this T4C episode, badass 20-something, Marie Appel talks about her experiences working with Teach For America and how she taught herself to use Microsoft Excel by googling Youtube videos and landed another job by googling Youtube tutorials during the interview!  


  • How tech can apply to so many different fields, including how it’s used in improving the field of education (3:32)
  • How learning to use Microsoft Excel will augment your value on the job market (6:44)
  • How being a manager of analytics at The Commit Partnership is helping improve the quality of education in the Dallas Forth Worth region (16:00)
  • How to overcome economic disadvantage to realize your professional dreams (17:27)
  • Why majoring in subjects other than education can benefit you and your future students if you’re interested in education (23:51)
  • What Teach for America is really like and how to thrive (29:55)
  • Why getting in a classroom as a teacher is the best way to understand the field of education (30:06)
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