Written by Hannah Evans, AmeriCorps Member serving on the Entergy Louisiana Team at Broadmoor Middle School
First hearing inspirational “starfish” stories from our Senior AmeriCorps members back in July seems like a faint memory. I do remember thinking that I would only be so lucky as to experience something so rewarding. I remember thinking how much this year could mean for me to have even a slight uplifting impact on a student. That’s what I was here for, right? It would take a lot of convincing for a skeptic like me to fully believe that a student would devote such time and effort just for me! I suppose I underestimated the depth of investment I’d be taking within my students. Boy, was I wrong.
As an organization that heavily incorporates mentorship, relationship building with our students has always been encouraged. As an AmeriCorps member in a middle school, I initially struggled to find ways of getting know my students that were just right for that “in-betweeney” age. The range of interests of the average seventh grade classroom within my school is quite wide. Finding activities that appeal to both the student who can’t stop talking about his Pokémon cards and the student who can’t stop talking about his crush, while making them educational, was an ambitious task. It became all about finding that happy medium between activities that were certainly age appropriate, but still very cool!
Once we got down to the nitty gritty of our students’ school work, it became obvious how the closeness, trust and understanding of our City Year-student relationships would benefit us all in the end. Saying that building friendships with these kids has been fun for me is an understatement. It has truly been the joy of my time with City Year and something that I will hold on to forever. It’s been a beautiful journey, from first learning their favorite snack and color, to now knowing what kind of day they’re having just by how they tell me “Good morning, Miss Hannah!”, as they enter school.