Teacher Prep’s Natalie Tung (’18) walked onto campus in the fall of 2014 with a passion for urban education and an ambitious vision of starting a non-profit organization to support the educational goals of young women from an underserved community. Her hard work and commitment has paid off!
As a sophomore in Spring 2016, Natalie established an innovative and promising organization called HomeWorks Trenton, a summer institute and school-year boarding program serving middle and high school girls in Trenton, NJ. Natalie’s vision was inspired by her own positive and empowering experiences attending a boarding school as a high school student. But it was her interests in urban education, gender, and racial equality that led her to focus on the development of a community-based program for girls in Trenton.
HomeWorks brings the benefits of the boarding school experience to public education without the high fixed costs and scalability issues of an actual school. These benefits include academic and extracurricular enrichment, social and emotional support, a safe and stable environment, global learning, and one-on-one support. The organization aims to foster a community of empowered young women who strive to achieve their full potential and positively impact the world around them. HomeWorks began with two summer institutes, in 2017 and 2018.
As an undergraduate at Princeton, Natalie majored in English and was a member of the women’s varsity squash team. She won the James Fisher, Jr. Memorial Prize, awarded by the Pace Center for Civic Engagement, a public service fellowship from ReachOut, which helps to fund HomeWorks, the Art Lane ’34 Award, awarded by the Princeton Varsity Club, and the McKinsey & Company Undergraduate Women's Impact Award, awarded by McKinsey & Company.
Currently, Natalie is student teaching in a high school English classroom in Trenton to complete her teacher certification with Teacher Prep. “I believe it is essential that non-profit and education leaders have experience in the classroom. I feel so lucky that Teacher Prep has given me this opportunity to not only experience being in the classroom, but also to learn skills that will better equip me when working with our scholars.”