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NEA student chair named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list

Tjaden leads nearly 60,000 future educators on federal, state, and local policy issues

Wasington, DC - January 07, 2014 -

Yesterday Forbes released its third annual 30 Under 30 list, a tally of the brightest stars in 15 different fields under the age of 30. National Education Association Student Program (NEA-SP) Chair David Tjaden has been named to the list for the education sector for the second year in a row.

“The NEA Student Program has continued to evolve and improve as THE pre- professional organization for educators; the Forbes honor is not directly reflective of my individual work, but is a testament of the impact our 60,000 members have in each of their communities,” said Tjaden.

Tjaden, 26, lobbied several members of Congress last fall on keeping student loan interest rates low and led a group of NEA Student Program members and others in a college affordability rally on Capitol Hill. His goal during his two-year term is to highlight the voices of future educators and to ensure their voices are heard and valued in teacher prep programs, college affordability, and public education.

“We want the best and brightest college students in the country to join us in our teacher preparation programs,” said Tjaden. “But we know it’s difficult to recruit those students into the teaching profession when they are going to be graduating with tens of thousands of dollars in debt. As a future teacher, the last thing I want to see is one of my students putting aside a college acceptance letter because they know they cannot afford to be shackled by student loan debt for the rest of their lives.”

Tjaden continues to emphasize the importance of activism when delivering speeches and in meetings with NEA-SP and National Education Association members throughout the country.

“We are at a pivotal point in the discussion of who should lead the conversation about the direction of education in this country,” said Tjaden. “Being a great teacher now also means being an advocate for our profession. It is my goal to ensure that our 60,000 members have the knowledge, skills, and tenacity to be the voices and leaders of our profession.”

David is originally from the rural town of Titonka, Iowa and has spent the last 6 years at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, he continued on and graduated with a master’s in Social Studies education in May 2012. His term ends in July of 2014.The NEA Student Program was founded in 1937 and now has nearly 60,000 members representing over 1,100 college/university campus chapters in 50 states.

For more information on David Tjaden and NEA’s Student Program, please go here.

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Sara Robertson


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