At a Glance:
More than 450 students attend the Higginson/Lewis K-8 School.
Our team will work with roughly 200 students and provide services targeted to improve low attendance, poor behavior and failure in coursework.
In partnership with Young People’s Project, Roxbury Multiservice Center, and Northeastern University, our team will organize an afterschool program which will address academic need and enrichment programming based on student interest.
Our Program Manager is Alex Cooke.
Meet the State Street Foundation team serving at Higginson/Lewis K-8 School in Roxbury:
Mike L., 23, Mahwah, NJ
I serve because I shouldn’t have to. I come from a privileged background; I’m white, I’m male, and I never had to worry about when I would eat or where I would sleep. That kind of privilege so engulfs my every experience that it can be hard to understand the plight of others. Moreover, to admit that women and people of color have been systematically disadvantaged is to admit that people like me have benefited from that oppression. I chose to serve once because I understood it was a good thing to do. I’m serving twice because I think it’s unjust that students receive dramatically different opportunities based on their ZIP code and the color of their skin. I’m not going to stop serving until every child—regardless of where they live, what they look like, what language they speak, their religion, ability, beliefs, community, and whom they love—has an opportunity to succeed and the freedom to become whoever they want to be.
Ammari E., 22, Brockton, MA
At Framingham State University (FSU), a class called Charitable Giving and Future Philanthropists really ignited and focused my passion to work with nonprofits. When I came to the City Year table at a career fair, the recruiters’ energy captivated me and they made me feel as though I had the personality and vibrancy to fit right in. I asked if they knew my friend Fiona who was serving her corps year and they did. When I spoke to Fiona, she told me to apply because I enjoy working with kids, my past FSU volunteerism, and my belief in the importance of making positive life choices mentally, physically, and emotionally. I applied because City Year seemed like a good opportunity to give children the tools to destroy the barriers to what can be considered their “American Dream.” Lastly, I believe my experiences will be a great resource for my future graduate school and career endeavors and fit right in with my passions.
Ryan F., 22, Cambridge, MA
I serve because one’s ZIP code should not dictate the outcome of their future. Regardless of gender, ethnicity, and class, all students should be entitled to the same academic resources that allow for enrichment of the mind. I serve because, unfortunately, discrepancies within the education system do exist. I strive to be the best resource to students that I can humanly be, while making a difference in the flourishing neighborhood of the Higginson/Lewis K-8 School. I serve because I believe it is outrageous that some students are systematically disadvantaged, and I serve to be a stepping stone on students’ paths to higher education.
Robert H., 22, Darien, CT
When I was growing up, I always admired educators. These educators, whether they were my parents, my aunts and uncles, cousins, or teachers in school all served as role models during my childhood. I realized that these educators were the most influential people I knew. In high school, I began to appreciate that I was lucky to have so many positive influences in my life and understood that not all students have mentors like I did. The fact that students from different socioeconomic status than mine often struggle to have these benefits compelled me to serve with City Year Boston. I know that if I can be a role model for even one child, like my teachers were for me, I will have made a difference.
Hadley K., 22, Lexington, MA
I have always been passionate about teaching and developed a strong interest in education policy and reform in college. Unsure of what I wanted to pursue after graduation, I decided to spend a year giving back and decided the best place to do so was in Boston—the city I call home. I choose to join City Year because I believe that the organization provides an invaluable service to students and schools. I serve because all students are capable of success regardless of the challenges they have faced inside or outside the classroom. As a corps member, I hope to be a mentor for my students and to work with them to achieve both academic and personal growth. Young people have the power to create great change. With City Year, I believe we can help provide them with the tools and opportunities to realize that potential.
Taryne M., 21, Pleasanton, CA
After mentoring and working closely with adults who have recently been released from long-term prison sentences, I have seen the life-altering effects that a quality education (and lack thereof) has on theses individuals. Coming from a privileged background, being involved with the transition and reintegration process of these men opened my eyes to the terrible flaws in the structures of our institutions and society as a whole. It is heartbreaking to see how these men were born into disadvantaged situations and thus were lead into the lifestyles that landed them in prison. Had they been able to receive a quality education early on, I believe their lives would have been drastically different. I serve because I believe that every child has the right to the opportunities and positive experiences that a quality education affords. I serve because I believe it is unacceptable that this is not the case for many children throughout this country.
Marie-Ange M., 22, Belvidere, IL
I’ve always been struck by the contradiction between the values we uphold as a society and the reality of world we’ve constructed. We praise the importance of brotherhood while simultaneously are blind to the problems that others face; we dilute ourselves into thinking “their” problems can’t touch us when, in fact, we are all inextricably linked. Although, I think it is important to question, I think talk without action is easy and cheap. Collective action is the only way to reshape our society in an image that is true to the values we champion. Serving as a City Year corps member allows me to work with students to combat social inequities with one of the most formidable tools: education. I serve because I cannot be blind to social injustices and I want to keep the doors open that have been opened for me.
Meghan P., 22, Lawrence, MA
The question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” has always been relatively easy for me to answer, as I have always wanted to become a high school guidance counselor. I want to be a resource for students and to help them achieve their goals no matter what they may be. As I entered my senior year at James Madison University, I knew graduate school was the next step, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to commit the next two years of my life to school. When I found City Year, I knew this is what I wanted to do. I loved everything about the organization. I loved that it addressed the dropout crisis and that it looked at the whole child and not just his or her test scores. When I saw that there was a Boston location, I knew that this was the place I was supposed to be. I grew up north of Boston all my life and the city is like a second home. There is no better place and no better opportunity for me this year.
Julia W., 18, Jamaica Plain, MA
I serve because I hope to help shape the future of our country, a future which lies in the hands of our children. If every child does not have access to a quality education because of inequalities in systems set up by our society, how are they supposed to become the future generation of leaders that we imagine them to be? I believe it is unacceptable that some children are unable to reach their full educational potential and to make their dreams come true because of systematic disadvantages. By serving with City Year, I hope to be a positive role model and mentor to the children in the school and community in which I serve. I hope that I can help at least one child open his or her eyes to the potential that he carries within himself.
Max X., 22, Lexington, MA
I am the second of three sons – all of us born and raised in an upper-middle class suburban enclave of New England. As the child of two hardworking, first-generation immigrant parents who hold one PhD and three master’s degrees between them, the pursuit of higher education was always a near-certainty for me growing up. I went into college thinking it was there I would acquire the tools to carve out my place in the high-achieving tapestry of America’s elite; instead, my liberal arts education stirred in me a restlessness for the pursuit of social justice. I joined City Year in order to serve on the front lines of the battle for educational equality. This year, I will continue the grueling, yet profoundly life-changing work of the young men and women who have worn the City Year uniform before me. This year, I will serve.