At a Glance:
In 2010, Orchard Gardens was identified as a Turnaround school—a designation that indicated that it was among the lowest performing schools in Massachusetts.
Orchard Gardens has some of the top student growth in the city—a sure indication of the impact that dedicated teachers and administrators, additional academic support and time can have on a school. We are proud that City Year had the opportunity to be part of this Turnaround plan
Our Program Manager is Emily Bekenstein.
Meet the DePuy Synthes Companies of Johnson & Johnson team serving at Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School in Roxbury:
Lenna A., 23, Mission Viejo, CA
I serve because I believe any kind of human exchange—a glance, a smile, a conversation—holds much more power than is given credit. I serve because my 7th grade students from my first year of service made me realize the overwhelming influence adults have on young people. As I grow older, I can feel that my mind becomes more focused on “big picture ideas,” which also blind me to smaller moments in life that may seem trivial. I serve because my students served me right back, and I am grateful for this because they transformed me and gave me a fresh pair of eyes. Now everyday I seek to understand that our reactions to everything we do, say, and feel is the immediate reflection we give to our youth. When we take responsibility as adults to share a passion for connecting with others on whichever levels we can, I believe the value in human exchange will magnify across all ages.
Stephen S., 23, Plymouth, MA
Team LeaderThroughout my life I have served in various positions working with peers and youth. In high school I volunteered to tutor at a charter school. During the summer while attending high school and college, I worked at a YMCA summer camp as a counselor. My tenure as a camp counselor awakened me to my passion for youth development and my belief in the power of young people. I serve with City Year because its fundamental views of youth are aligned with mine and provide me the opportunity to continue to make an impact in the lives of the youth.
J.D. A., 23, Simi Valley, CA
Corps MemberI serve with City Year because I believe in social justice. After graduating with a degree in business administration, I knew that my service was needed before I moved on in my career. I believe today’s education gap is the biggest civil rights issue of our time, and I intend on being a part of the solution. These students, teachers, schools, and districts need young people now more than ever to improve education through service and work towards ending the dropout crisis is this country. The data is there and we are here to make sure these students don’t end up a statistic.
Emily B. 22, Ballston Spa, NY
I knew I wanted to do something meaningful after college, and after hearing so much positive feedback about City Year, I decided to apply. Boy, am I glad I did! The City Year culture is one of the most passionate cultures I have ever encountered, and that’s because of the amazing people who work here. Serving with City Year allows me to not only make a difference in the lives of others, but to do this alongside passionate people like me. I couldn’t be happier with my decision to join the 2013-2014 City Year Boston Corps!
Yahaira C., 22, Lawrence, MA
My senior year at UMass Lowell was quickly coming to an end, and I knew there was something greater out there for me than continuing my education or starting a full time job. That’s when City Year came into my life. After speaking with an admissions representative at a career fair, I knew City Year was the perfect program that would help me solidify my lifelong passion of teaching. I serve because I am dedicated to becoming a positive role model in the lives of underrepresented children in my community. City Year gives me the golden opportunity to be the light at the end of the tunnel for children.
Samuel C., 22, West Hartford, CT
I serve because I recognize that the resources and support that I received during the course of my education were products of a privileged circumstance that I have no way of explaining, let alone justifying. While it was the larger systems of institutions and ideas beyond any one person’s control that allow for such discrepancies, the effects of those systems can penetrate into the most personal and emotional aspects of that person’s self-worth and orientation to the world. What a privilege it is to be acting both positively and subversively by empowering people who are impacted by these.
Sean D. 18, East Berlin, PA
I serve because I have a desire to pass on the support and encouragement that was so selflessly given to me every day all the way through my school career. When I struggled in school, I always had the help and support from my parents, teachers, and other mentors anytime I needed it. Without their encouragement, I would not have learned how to become a successful student in school. From the minute I heard about City Year, I knew it was the perfect program for me to give back that support.
Lindsay H., 23, Churchville, PA
I have always been a passionate person, but I felt that I had lost some fervor and strayed from my heart over the past few years. I recognized that I wanted to be part of something bigger—something more meaningful and greater than myself. Doing a year of service has always interested me, and City Year seemed to be the perfect fit with its strong culture, presence and goals. Throughout my year of service, I hope to learn to show empathy, commitment, and connection for each of the students I serve, to see each student as an individual, and to support them as such. I believe that we all have the power to affect change, and my change starts here.
Kharisha Mae L., 20, Middletown, CT
Corps MemberAfter high school and two years of college, I was burned out and not as energized and focused as I would have liked to finish strong in college. By taking a gap year, it gave me a break from the academic pressures that I thought would result to a renewed enthusiasm and a focused mind for my studies when I return to school. City Year provided a place where I can put my passion for educational issues and service to help make a difference in an effort that is larger than myself. I serve because I believe in our future generations. I serve because of the urgency and the collective impact that drives change within the students’ lives, their families, their schools, and their communities.
Emma M., 17, Quincy, MA
Freshman year of high school marks the beginning of what many people refer to as the best four years of their lives, but for me freshman year was anything but that. The constant verbal torture of my peers not only affected me on a personal level, where I felt completely alone at school all day, but it also took a toll on my attendance. I heard about City Year from my mom, and after researching the organization, it did not take long for me to decide that City Year was the perfect fit for me. I serve because no student should be treated unfairly because of their differences, no student should feel alone in school, and no student should believe that no one cares enough to notice if they are at school or not. I serve because I want to teach students that everyone is equal, to be there for students and to show students that I care enough to notice if they are or are not in class.
Sola M., 22, Canton, MA
In 2005, I was a high school freshman in a Boston Public School, and statistics would tell you that I had a 55 percent chance of graduating within four years. From conversations with other BPS students that I matriculated into college with, I learned that some of us spent the first semester or year of college learning skills and material that many students master in high school. I was mentored and tutored by an upperclassman in college, and it helped me tremendously. I stand as a witness to the undeniable power of mentoring by a near peer and the support of someone who truly wants you to succeed. City Year captures the educational goals and uses a system of increasing success rates in school that I strongly believe in. I want to help other students in a greater way than how I have been helped.
Kaitlyn M., 22, Northborough, MA
Upon my graduation from Bridgewater State University, I knew I wanted to share both my passion for education and be a part of something much greater than myself. After learning about City Year, I realized it was the perfect organization to do just that. I firmly believe there is such power in young people helping other young people. I serve so that each student has the opportunity and awareness to reach their full potential. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in the city of Boston and to give back to the community I am proud to call home.
Lucas P., 22, Wales, WI
I serve because service is the most powerful way to transform communities and myself. My older sister served in City Year Milwaukee and it was her experience that convinced me to join the City Year team. I wanted to be part of an organization that's having a measurable impact on the nation's education, which I truly believe to be "the great equalizer of the conditions of men [and women].” I was born in Milwaukee, and I've lived in Wisconsin my entire life, but I had a need to leave my comfort zone and explore new areas of the country, which led me to City Year Boston. I proudly serve in the hopes that my work in the classroom and the community will inspire others to believe in national service as I do and to make a year of service part of our cultural norm.
Mario R., 22, Virginia Beach, VA
I have always believed the greatest feeling was being a part of something bigger than myself. I also feel it important for a people to surround themselves with other like-minded individuals when supporting a greater cause. This past July I decided to pack up my old life and set out on a new journey of which I knew very little about, except that it was bigger than myself. I landed here in Boston with nothing but an open heart and mind, ready to help out any school or community in which I am placed. I see it my civic duty as an able bodied American to help those in need around us. City Year’s motto says it all for me: “Give a year, change the world.” It is such a small commitment in proportion to the amount of impact one can have on the world.
Isaiah R., 23, Salem, MA
I serve to better myself and those around me. Throughout my life I have noticed massive gaps in the education system, and I have done nothing to remedy the issue. Through serving with City Year I plan to make a significant difference in the lives of the students who I serve. My goal is to create a mutual understanding among students that establishes a strong sense of self and community. The ideology of Ubuntu inspires me to “walk in the moccasins of others.” In doing this I strive to make a powerful empathetic connection with each individual I come in contact with.
MO S., 22, Winston-Salem, NC
During my last year at Washington University in St. Louis, I had the honor of serving on the executive council of Campus YMCA, a community service organization that served the St. Louis community. While I had previously been a volunteer and a program leader, it wasn’t until I served alongside the other student directors that I saw the scope of the impact all of our programs had on the St. Louis community. These programs served in very different ways, but all had one thing in common: they were all led by young people. Those passionate and hardworking leaders and volunteers inspired me to search for opportunities to serve full-time for a year. I ultimately chose to serve with City Year because I knew that I would be a part of a corps that truly has the ability to be the change that they wish to see in the world.