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City Year Corps Member of the Month: May 2019: Sasha Dastine

Name: Sasha Dastine

School serving: P.S. 158, New York

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

What made you decide to join City Year?

I decided to join City Year because I wanted to spend my year between undergrad and grad school doing something meaningful. My manager from my internship with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital was a City Year alum, and he told me about City Year and how many of the students needed more people of color like myself as leaders in their schools. 

Why are you committed to serving with City Year?

I am committed to serving with City Year because I know what it is like to grow up in the New York City public school system and to not be understood by those who were teaching me. I also believe in those who are younger than me and the power that they hold to change the world.

How do you know you are making a difference?

I know that I am making a difference because of the additional support that I am able to provide every day, whether it is in class, during interventions or simply having lunch with my students.

What does it mean to you to have Bain Capital sponsor your team?

Having Bain Capital sponsor my team is meaningful to me because they believe in the work that we are doing every day.

Please share a Starfish Story.

My starfish story is about a 3rd grader who did not want to talk to me in the beginning of the year. Over the past few months, he slowly opened up to me by saying hello or calling me over to help with his work. Some days, when he wasn't in the "mood" to do any work, he would randomly run out the classroom. Our partner teacher can't leave behind an entire class to run after one kid, so I would run after him. At first he hated me doing that. Being respectfully persistent, I taught him some breathing exercises to do when he is feeling the urge to run out of class. On average he would run out of class about 2-3 times a week. In the last month he has not done it once, and he likes to call me over to show me that he is actually doing the breathing exercises I taught him. I also invited him down to our City Year room to have lunch with me one time, and now, almost every morning, he asks me is it ok for him to come and have lunch with me. To make it fair for all the students, I have created a system where I bring 4 students down with me for lunch every Tuesday and Thursday.