The Varkey Foundation awarded Keishia Thorpe, a high school English teacher, the $1 million Global Teacher Prize.
“She was chosen from more than 8,000 nominations and applications from 121 countries around the world,” according to the charity.
Thorpe’s past awards include the Medal of Excellence from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and the title of National Life Changer of the Year for 2018-2019.
Thorpe “totally overhauled the 12th grade English department curriculum to make it culturally relevant to her students, who are largely first-generation Americans, immigrants, or refugees from Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and South and Central America,” according to the foundation.
In the 2018-2019 academic year alone, she assisted seniors in receiving $6.7 million in scholarships.
Thorpe is a teacher at International High School in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and she came to the United States on a track and field scholarship from Jamaica.
This experience has helped her pave the way for other students: she and her twin sister, Dr. Treisha Thorpe, founded the nonprofit U.S. Elite International Track and Field to help “‘at risk’ student-athletes across the globe access fully funded scholarships to U.S. colleges and universities,” according to the Varkey Foundation.