Ellen Shepard wakes to a busy day at Teach For America and unplugs from her job much later, tired but rewarded for what she does. Shepard is CIO and SVP at TFA, the non-profit organization that puts qualified young teachers to work at urban and rural American schools.

The group's charter is to recruit, provide and support well-trained teachers who commit to education jobs in urban or rural areas for two years. More than a volunteer corps, it's a plum assignment that top young teachers compete for. TFA veterans are likely to have careers that lead to roles as superintendents and reformers – and lifelong ties to TFA itself.

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