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Serving students at a time when they need us the most

My name is Elizabeth Geiser, and I am a Senior AmeriCorps member serving at Tech Boston Academy in Dorchester Massachusetts. I would like to share my Red Jacket Dedication and the story of why I serve. 

One of my earliest and favorite memories is riding with my mother as she delivered meals as a volunteer with AIDS Rochester Daily Bread. She would bring me along with her as she delivered life-sustaining meals and more importantly human kindness to patients living with AIDS, who many times lacked other support systems. As a young girl, I loved having the chance to explore my community and meet new people. As an adult, I now realize the gift my mother was giving me. 

This was my first introduction to community service and emblematic of my mother’s commitment to volunteer work. Even while raising two children, counseling her patients at the pharmacy, and caring for her friends and family, my mother found time to help lead my Girl Scout troop, work at an equine therapy center, and promote public health initiatives to healthcare professionals. 

Throughout her life, my mother found ways to give back and serve our community and she has always served as my role model. It is because of this example and the proud tradition of community service that I choose to serve with City Year: to serve students at a time when they need us the most.  

It is because of this example and the proud tradition of community service that I choose to serve with City Year: to serve students at a time when they need us the most.  

During my first year as a City Year AmeriCorps member at Tech Boston, I served in a seventh-grade English classroom with a student who was very smart but struggled to sit still during class. He would wander around the classroom, standing over other students’ shoulders, asking questions about everything besides the assignment. When you could get him to sit down, he would finish his work within minutes; but getting him to pick up the pencil in the first place was the challenge. After a conversation with my student, he agreed to let me bug him all class until he completed his work in exchange for wearing my watch during class. I followed him around the classroom, letting him borrow my watch with the promise he would complete his paper and most of the time he did. By the end of the year, he had upheld our deal and passed with flying colors.  

This year, for my second year of service, I am back in the same seventh grade classroom, and have the chance to observe my now eighth-grade students.   One day, I glanced into their classroom and saw my former student still pacing around, this time holding a clipboard with his work in hand.   Inspired by my mother, I serve to support students when they need it most, in the unique ways they need it most, to succeed and thrive in and outside of the classroom.  

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