Hi everyone! I am Bianca Verma, a City Year Chicago alum from the 2010-2011 corps. Since completing my corps year, I moved to Ann Arbor to study at the University of Michigan Medical School. I then took a year off during my medical education to get a Masters in Public Health from Harvard University, and am now about to graduate from my programs and start my pediatrics residency at the University of North Carolina.
It is thanks to City Year, and my group of 6th graders at Howe, that I realized that medicine, and more specifically adolescent medicine, was a perfect fit. My students challenged me every day to be more patient, loving, kind, compassionate, understanding, and learn to thrive outside my comfort zone – skills that are required in a future physician. They inspired me to seek innovative methods of connecting with them, to gain self-confidence in my ability to be a mentor and leader, that it’s only through mutual respect and friendship that one can gain trust and confidence – abilities that will enhance my relationships with future adolescent patients as well.
Additionally, I was humbled and amazed by the strength of character, resiliency, and commitment that my City Year teammates, and the faculty at Howe, displayed in both big and small ways. Teamwork (with other providers such as physicians, nurses, social workers, case workers, and psychologists) is an essential component in helping families and communities improve the context in which those children develop and grow, just as we at Howe needed to work together to help our kids succeed. My City Year experience provided a solid foundation from which to launch into this career trajectory, and continues to be my inspiration as I move forward.
Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen. Your idealism and unrelenting enthusiasm for the work you do will shine through and help others around you find inspiration and motivation as well. You got this - we're all so proud of you!
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You may be familiar with the #IWishMyTeacherKnew campaign that went viral last year. Back in April, we asked our City Year AmeriCorps members to share what they wish their students knew about them, and how much their success in school means to us all.
City Year Chicago Alumnus Gabriel Lopez shares some highlights and best practices from his year of service!