CLARISSA ISABELLE DELGADO
Clarissa Isabelle Liboro Delgado, Co-founder and CEO of Teach for the Philippines (TFP), has always been grateful to be born Filipina. This, combined with her steadfast belief in the values of learning, simplicity, and stewardship, has led her to where she is now.
Clarissa started her career in research and impact measurement. From 2009 to 2011, she managed a Randomized Control Trial for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (MIT J-PAL) for Sa Aklat Sisikat Foundation (SAS). SAS created a 30-day reading program which was proven by MIT J-PAL to have significant positive impact on the functional literacy of participating students – with the positive effects persisting 6-months up to a year after the intervention.
In 2012, TFP was founded to expand the impact of SAS; a way to better address the broader twin challenges in quality of teaching and system-level change. The organization now recruits, trains, and individually coaches new and tenured public school teachers over the course of two years. In order to reinforce trust in public institutions – a key factor to inclusive change – they also provide TFP-trained teachers an avenue to engage in public policy. Aside from inspiring students to reach their full potential, TFP-trained teachers are also catalysts for change in communities across the Philippines.
While founding TFP, Clarissa simultaneously undertook as Master's degree at the Ateneo de Manila University's Graduate School of Education. In 2017, Clarissa wrote her Master’s thesis entitled, “A Historical Analysis of the Philippine Public Education System (1901-2017) and an Investigation of External Investments in Access and Quality”. It is the first successfully proposed and defended Historical Analysis in the Graduate School. The learning from her studies have contributed to TFP's focus on understanding and respecting context and history in the communities it works with. She graduated in May 2018.
Today, Clarissa leads a team driven by a bias for action, and a strong desire to work para sa bata at para sa bayan. TFP is a nationwide movement that has trained over 300 young Filipinos united in a common commitment towards building a more equitable nation through education. Since 2012, TFP has taught almost 70,000 public students; and about 80% of those who complete TFP’s leadership training program continue to work in the education sector, with nearly 50% working full-time in national and local governments, the Office of the Vice President, and the Department of Education.
TFP and its approach have also been recognized internationally. Clarissa was selected out of over 21,000 applications from 191 countries to become the first and only Filipina in the inaugural class of the Obama Foundation Fellowship. Introduced in 2018, the Obama Foundation Fellowship supports outstanding civic innovators from around the world in order to amplify the impact of their work and to inspire a wave of civic innovation.
Everyone in TFP understands that achieving equity and change takes time – that it is a relay race which can span generations. Picking up the baton from the generation of Ramon V. del Rosario and all the RVR honorees that have followed him, the team at TFP works little by little to strengthen the fabric of Filipino communities across the archipelago. Clarissa, along with the young leaders and teachers in TFP, have demonstrated remarkable impact. They work intentionally and intelligently towards equal access to quality education for all Filipino children. As nation-builders, everyone in TFP is committed to being the change they want to see in the education sector of the Philippines.