City Year Boston Senior AmeriCorps members Sandy Fonseca-Lopes (Bank of America team at the Young Achievers Science and Math Pilot K-8 School in Mattapan) and Zack McCarthy (Wellington Management team at the Mildred Avenue K-8 School in Mattapan) appeared on 89.7 WGBH's Boston Public Radio this afternoon. They joined hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan at WGBH's satellite studio at the Boston Public Library, steps from City Year's National Headquarters for Idealism in Back Bay, as guests on the program's News Quiz.
Listen to their segment (starts at 2:18:30)
Sandy described her experience having a City Year corps member mentor her as a teen and how that led her to service after graduating from Simmons College, while Zack shared why he chose City Year as a bridge year before returning to his studies at UMass Boston. They are part of City Year Boston's largest cohort of AmeriCorps members in its 29-year history, with 289 serving more than 12,000 students in 23 Boston Public Schools this year. Sandy and Zack talked about how City Year supports teachers in classrooms and Jim spoke to his daughter's experience (a City Year Boston alum!) as a near-peer mentor, a relationship that goes a long way in supporting students in attendance, positive behavior skills, and coursework.
The pair also taught the hosts how to be "Big and Strong" and spoke to why activities like Morning Greeting help make school a welcoming, nurturing place to improve student attendance and reduce chronic absenteeism. Post-City Year, Sandy originally planned to be a pediatrician but is leaning toward social work and youth leadership, while Zack is looking forward to completing his undergraduate degree potentially in political science.
As Sandy and Zack mentioned, young people interested in giving back to the Boston community can apply to serve next year; the deadline to apply is October 27.