Rajeev Bajaj started out as an engineering professional. Today he is an educator in the New York City public school system, and one of 100 exemplary public school teachers from across the nation chosen to be a MetLife Fellow in the Teachers Network Policy Institute (TNPI).
From his experience working at large companies like Microsoft as well as the start-up phase of Jamcracker, Bajaj realized that there was a convergence between education, technology, and more broadly, the public and private sector. “Education is a key lever in our society whether you look at it from a labor/workforce or broader societal perspective,” he says. Bajaj applied, and was selected for the New York City Teaching Fellows, a New York City Department of Education program where professionals are encouraged to teach in New York City’s most under-resourced schools. The program involves a two-year commitment and gives Fellows the opportunity to earn their Master’s in Education.
Bajaj plunged headlong into his role as an educator, working on progressive education, digital equity, and integrated curriculum as key drivers for education reform and community development. “My focus was to bring some of the private sector skills I had, from grant-writing to corporate partnership development to engage needed resources and expertise for our kids,” he explains. He thus developed approximately $300,000 in monies and in-kind services for the school.
Today the 28-year-old Bajaj is part of Deputy Chancellor Diana Lam’s team that is working to raise the quality of education in New York schools. Let’s applaud this young Indian-American who has undertaken the enormous responsibility of a brighter future by educating future generations.