Photo: AmeriCorps Member, Eli Prosper talks about his service with the Governor of PA, Tom Wolf on MLK Day
Personally, as a product of an after-school program, I was surrounded by caring mentors who sowed seeds for my future, making sure that I aimed for greatness. I joined City Year to be one of those mentors.
I was elated when my 4th grade student, Nia proudly showed me her final grades last June. She was a student who didn't have an ounce of faith in herself at the beginning of the year. She would say things like, “I can't do this, Mr. Eli." I would always simply reply, “Yes, you can.” Nia and I worked hard last year and we saw her grades rise. At first, she began asking me for help with every worksheet, but as the year progressed, I encouraged Nia to trust herself and we worked on focusing in class. As she gained confidence and refined her focusing skills, she consumed the information. As a result, her math grade rose from a D to a C and then triumphantly a B. An extra bonus was that I also helped her to make the first-ever basketball shot of her life in our after-school program!
Moments like these are why others should care. City Year is a program that students need, a program that advocates for students while holding them accountable. As AmeriCorps members, we ensure that every student we meet has an opportunity to contribute and change our world and I want to do my part, to make a difference in the lives of others, and build a stronger community, nation, and world for all of us.
Alma Mater: Ohio Christian University
Hometown: Binghamton, NY
Team Sponsor: Comcast NBC Universal