At a Glance:
Through the Diplomas Now initiative, we are working this year to support the vision of our newest Headmaster, Ligia Noriega-Murphy.
Diplomas Now is a whole-school reform program that aims to improve school climate and performance via a collaboration between schools, City Year, Talent Development and Communities in Schools.
Our Program Manager is Kayla Faust.
Meet the CSX team serving at The English High School in Jamaica Plain:
Jules P., 24, Camden, NJ
I serve because, where I come from, countless people on every corner are unconsciously moving, brain-dead from the last shot of street prescription taken. Countless mothers can't provide sufficient shelter. Countless friends are lost to an environment that would have them believe there's no such thing as succeeding. An "inner-city kid making it" shouldn't be such a slogan.
Sophie S., 23, Newton, MA
I serve because the ZIP code, color of your skin, ability, social class, or any possible characteristic should not determine a child's future. I serve because every person needs someone to tell her that she can when all she hears is she can't. I serve because I stand on the shoulders of so many who have fought and sacrificed for what I have been given. I serve because it shows me the way to be a better person. I serve again because a team of people helped me touch the lives of so many students who taught us more lessons then they ever received.
Misty A., 22, Methuen, MA
I serve in City Year Boston because I can relate to my students. Growing up in the Lawrence Public School system as the oldest of five children raised by a single mother, I faced similar struggles to those these students are facing. I understand the barriers that can make education difficult and can relate to non-academic responsibilities these students face because I grew up facing them as well. I serve in City Year Boston because I have experienced many challenges in my life that have impacted my education, and I want to give back to students who are in similar circumstances. I serve because I want to learn from these students and share my experiences with them to help them grow into their full potential. I serve because I want to make a difference. Even if I only connect with one student, it is one more story that can be shared to inspire someone else.
Ryan B., 21, Westborough, MA
When I see a problem, I do my absolute best to solve it; unfortunately, calling the dropout crisis in the United States a “problem” is a vast understatement. I joined City Year because it gives individuals like myself—idealists and problem solvers—a chance to support progress on this social issue at the ground level. As a member of the national service movement, I have the unique opportunity and responsibility to fight this dilemma that is damaging our country. There is no other way I would rather face this challenge than doing so head on; I serve to combat any social injustice that threatens my community and my nation’s future.
Jesse C., 22, Boston, MA
I serve because, after graduating from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, I participated in a mentoring program where I met Kelsey*. All of her teachers had informed me that if she did not pass her math class, she would not graduate. As the year went on, Kelsey began to look up from her text messages began passing math class, graduating in May. On the last day of school, my supervisor told me that my name should have been next to Kelsey’s on her diploma because there was no way she would be able to pass math class without me. I disagree. I did not save Kelsey from not graduating high school, I simply showed her that I both believed in her and knew she had the potential to succeed. I serve to remind every student that he or she has the potential to succeed no matter what.
Will F., 22, South Easton, MA
I serve because I remember what it was like to be a disinterested, disengaged student. However, I had people in my life pushing me to succeed and providing me with the resources I needed to realize my potential. I would like to be another source of that support for students, to work with them and allow them to apply their own abilities so that they can succeed. The dropout crisis can be addressed in this country and positive change can be affected by each individual willing to serve, and so I serve.
Diana J., 21, Beverly, MA
I serve because I love teaching and supporting others; watching my students’ faces light up as they overcome their challenges is such a fulfilling experience. During college, I became incredibly passionate about learning and my own education; having the opportunity to spread this love is why I chose to serve with City Year. I want to help students build their own confidence in their academic ability and future opportunities and inspire them to explore a greater understanding about the world around them. I chose City Year Boston because I want to spend my year making a positive difference in the lives of others in my community through teaching; I believe in my own power to improve my community and want to be an active proponent of positive change. I look forward to this enormous challenge knowing that it pairs with the opportunity for enormous personal growth and insight.
Cat N., 22, Randolph, MA
I serve for all the children who want to see a difference in their communities and schools, but may not have been heard by the right people or been able to articulate this want. While in college, I attended a Bronx public meeting where a group of 8th graders took to the stage, asking for better resources in their school and more engaging classes. At that moment, I realized the agency and power youth have to make a difference in their environments. At that moment, my desire to help improve the plight of underprivileged youth changed from a choice to an obligation. I serve because I can and will advocate for youth until they are able to advocate for themselves.
Stephanie O., 22, Derry, NH
At Keene State College, the motto is “Enter to learn, go forth to serve,” and this is what I hope to achieve. I chose to serve in Boston for a few different reasons: it offers an opportunity to work with high school students; Boston is close to my family in New Hampshire; Boston offers an adventure; and this is where City Year was founded. I see my year of service as a connecting bridge between undergraduate and graduate school, and without this year of service I would be completely lost. Being a part of City Year this past month I realize that I will gain more experience, knowledge, and growth within this one year of service than if I had jumped right into a career or graduate school. I serve with City Year to support students to help them reach their full potential and assist students in determining their future goals for graduation and beyond.
Jared R., 22, Waterbury, CT
I serve because I grew up in a city where public education was put on a back burner, creating a clear disconnect between the “haves” and “have-nots.” As one of the lucky few to gain a scholarship, I watched as friends and family struggled in a system that forgot their faces. This is what drew me to service. I serve to stem the tide of dropout factories and to provide social justice for the disaffected youth who need more support to stay on track in our education system.
Seth R., 22, Natick, MA
I serve because my whole life I have always been (and still am) very caring and willing to help others. The more I learned and understood who other people were, the more I learned about myself and who I was as a person. Rather than looking at a person and making quick judgments, I got to know everyone on an individual basis. I believe in the importance of giving back to the community and making a difference in society. I serve in City Year to make an impact on people’s lives. It starts with one person to make a difference, and if all of us collaborate in unity, we have the power to strengthen the country as a whole.
Alexandra V., 22, North Attleborough, MA
While studying in college, I learned about the gaps that exist in American public education; students in low-income communities are more likely to have lower overall achievement on testing in math and English and are less likely to graduate high school and attend college. I knew I wanted to teach in a community where I could make an impact and that is when I found out about City Year. Students need extra tutoring, role models, and mentors who are there every step of the way to personally monitor their progress and encourage achievement. I believe that the service we perform daily within City Year combine to tackle the dropout crisis in a unique and integral way that benefits the future of the American public school system. I serve to support students who are currently in public education and to gain additional skills as a prospective teacher in order to better serve my students in the future.