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City Year Corps Member of the Month - November 2018: Claire Turner

Name: Claire Turner

School Serving: Grew Elementary School, Hyde Park, MA

Hometown: Norwalk, CT

What made you decide to join City Year?

I decided to join City Year because I wanted to be a part of an organization and a cause much bigger than myself. I believe that City Year is a catalyst for change, so I am proud to be serving as a corps member. I want to go on to graduate school and obtain a Masters in Educational Policy. My goal is to use my service experience with City Year to help support effective change for the public school system in our country. During my three months in service so far, I have become more convinced and determined to work in politics fighting for educational equity. 

Why are you committed to serving with City Year?

I am committed to serving with City Year because I believe in the power of a quality education and what a difference it can make in the lives of our students. I also believe in the power of a strong support system and how meaningful it is to receive positive encouragement from the adults in your life. I am committed to serving because children are the future of our country so every child should be given the same resources to succeed.  

How do you know you are making a difference?

I know I am making a difference because I have seen small but visible changes in my students' behavior and attitude towards school and their schoolwork in the few weeks that we have been in service in the school. The students seem to become more excited and eager to learn with each passing day and I will continue to support their excitement towards school throughout the year. 

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

It means so much to me to have Bain Capital sponsor my team! Bain Capital has been such an integral part of City Year since the early 1990s and they have always been so supportive of City Year. It is also great to be sponsored by a company where so many of their employees are heavily involved in City Year! As a result, they can provide so many opportunities for both me and my fellow teammates, but also my students and the Grew as a whole. It also means a lot to me to have Bain Capital sponsor my team as my aunt Kathleen Rockey works there! 

Please share a Starfish Story.

Since the start of my service two months ago, I have had the privilege to create meaningful bonds with many of my students. One student relationship I've made has been particularly impactful for me. I was warned by my partner teacher prior to the first day of school that this student, Kyle*, had a reputation for having outbursts, storming out, acting obstinately and rarely listening in class. Throughout the first three weeks of school, Kyle often appeared unengaged in class and was withdrawn when I made attempts to get to know him. My partner teacher noticed that Kyle often did not eat the breakfast or lunch served at school because he did not like what was being served. This choice not to eat seemed like a possible cause for some of his behaviors and poor schoolwork. To combat this, my partner teacher devised a plan to give Kyle snack breaks twice a day. I would take Kyle to the City Year for these breaks and this gave me a chance to interact with Kyle one on one. He started to open up to me and become more talkative. He has expressed a willingness to work on his behavior issues and we have even started to set weekly goals for him. My partner teacher and I have also seen a tremendous improvement in both his classroom engagement and quality of work as well. Watching Kyle grow these past two months has been so meaningful to me. My partner teacher I are constantly looking for new ways to support Kyle and help him be successful in the classroom. He has become much better in articulating his needs as well, which allows us to better support him. His behavior has improved tremendously, and though he still has some difficult days, I am confident that he will continue to grow in all aspects throughout the year.