Growing up in poverty in rural Appalachia, I know from first-hand experience how wide of a gap exists in academic achievement. I have always had a burning desire to learn more, be more, and do more than those who came before me. My mother and father can’t read, and their parents before them, and their parents before them. I worked for years in after school programs and community groups in Rural Appalachia to try and build the bridge for the next generation to achieve. Last year, the New Teacher Project and the Nashville Teaching Fellows gave me a chance to do more, be more, and work more efficiently to close the achievement gap by becoming a teacher in Metro Nashville Public Schools. When I picture great teaching, I see the achievement gap closing and a bridge to greatness being built for all children regardless of their zip code.