Written by Alexandra Gribler, AmeriCorps Member proudly serving at Claiborne Elementary School

As a 22 year old deciding how to spend my first year out of college, I found myself asking the same thing. Many adults in my life were unaware what serving with City Year meant, as the education crisis in our country is often swept under the rug. When asked this by friends and family I would simply respond with “a year of service” but I had no idea what that entailed. This weekend I was sworn in as an AmeriCorps member, promising to get things done for America. Despite still having many questions about my year, this was an empowering moment. As I enter my second full week of school, I’m starting to grasp what being a City Year AmeriCorps member means.

Serving in a third grade classroom, I have the privilege of being the first City Year AmeriCorps member these students have worked with. The students I serve are full of excitement and curiosity about learning. They know that I work for City Year, but they had so many questions on what my purpose in the classroom was. These were questions even I couldn’t fully answer yet. I decided to ask one of my students, Sarah*, a few questions to see what her perception of City Year was:

What is your favorite part about attending Claiborne Elementary?

“I think learning is my favorite part. I love when we do tests.”

What is your favorite subject?

“My favorite subject is math because sometimes it is hard and sometimes it’s easy. I always solve the problems though.”

From what you’ve seen at school, what do you think City Year is?

“I think City Year just comes to help and learn to be teachers. I feel good about them because they help all the kids in the school learn.”

What are you most excited for this school year?

“I am excited to learn more stuff like multiplying and dividing.”

Though I am not learning to become a teacher, it put a smile on my face to listen to Sarah say she felt good about having us at her school. I look forward to the opportunity to continue showing these students what it means to be a City Year corps member and making better happen in our schools. I serve because my education empowered me, and I will use that to empower others. I may still have much to learn about being a City Year AmeriCorps member, but I know that I’m here to give students the education they deserve. My name is Alexandra Gribler and I am an AmeriCorps member proudly serving with City Year Baton Rouge. 

*Student's name has been changed.

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