School Serving: Grew Elementary School, Boston, MA
Hometown: Pawtucket, RI
What made you decide to join City Year?
I struggled a lot in school myself, largely due to ADHD. I know how hard it is to succeed when you feel like the traditional model of schooling doesn't do enough to address your needs. I am very fortunate to have had family and friends who were always supportive and encouraged me to do my best even when I felt like a failure. I first joined City Year because I wanted to pay it forward by being part of the support network for students like myself.
Why are you committed to serving with City Year?
I am committed to serving as a Team Leader because Corps Members have an extremely hard job. I do everything I can to help them stay focused on their own reasons for joining City Year and take the load off them when possible.
How do you know you are making a difference?
With my students, I think the biggest change this year has been their enthusiasm about working with me, whether it be on reading or multiplication. At the beginning of the year we struggled to get any schoolwork done in afterschool, but now some of my students come to me proudly to show me what they worked on at home by themselves!
Please share a Starfish Story.
In my first year with City Year, I worked with a fourth grader who was a natural leader for his classmates because of his emotional maturity. He knew this and cared a lot about his reputation. As a result, he often ended up picking fights with other students who challenged him. We met every week for a lunch group, and I spent most of the year talking with him about positive ways to show leadership. I emphasized the fact that he didn't need to lower himself to the level of other students who tried to tease him. By the end of the year, he was much more likely to use his words to respond to a provocation and even stood up for his friends when they were being bullied!
What's next for you after City Year?
I'm in the process of applying to teach English in France through a program with the French embassy. I am hoping to apply some of the skills I have acquired with City Year in a new context.