Christine Borelli

Christine Borelli


Memphis Street Academy Charter School

Philadelphia, PA US

If you find passion in it, follow it, fight for it, run after it, and in the end it will work out because you're never going to get bored from it-you're never going to think of it as work.


By Roadtrip Nation

Christine Borelli


My road in life has been direct.
Did not grow up wanting to be a teacher; was actually a tough student behavior-wise.
Grew up in a rough area of Philadelphia where "you needed to be tough."
Her mom gave up most of their luxuries so that they could go to private schools; knew their "way out" would be through education.
Was sent to public school for summer school after failing algebra; was terrified every day, kids were fighting, no one paid attention in class.
Started thinking, "what's going to happen" to those kids who were fighting, barely learning times tables in tenth grade; knew she wanted to teach.
Memphis Street Academy was previously one of the lowest performing middle schools in Philadelphia, had highest numbers of assaults, drug incidents.
Cleaned up the interior and exterior of the school so that students' learning environment felt like a "bright, healthy place," apart from bleak community.
Says that like in a relationship, you'll know your job is your passion if it makes you feel "butterflies."
Keep following my journey



I led the turnaround of an underperforming violent middle school in a large urban area.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Teaching / Mentoring

Day to Day

I strive to make education accessible to students who have had tough upbringings and create a safe environment for them to learn and grow. I oversaw efforts to completely revamp the school from ground up, paint to curriculum.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Find the thing(s) that make you feel like you belong. If I suddenly inherited an infinite amount of money, I would still report to my school every single day. It is where I belong and it is what I was meant to do.


The Noise I Shed

From Teachers:

"You can't get teaching experience at inner city schools."

Challenges I Overcame

First-Generation College Student
Gangs / Violence

Interviewed By

Connecting the Dots

Connecting the Dots

In Washington D.C., the road-trippers interview human rights attorney Brittan Heller who speaks about "connecting the dots" of one's inklings instead of forcing life into a direction. Later, in Philadelphia, the team speaks to race car mechanic Sal Donato before interviewing Christine Borelli and Stacey Cruise, two educators who worked to revitalize a crime-ridden school.