2015-03-09

Victoria is a proud AmeriCorps member serving on the Sea Best Team at Raines High Schooll. If you like Victoria's story, follow her on Twitter @ToriRiley

What were you Doing before City Year?

"I was a college student studying History and International Relations. During fall of my senior year, I talked to a CY alum who worked at my school and she really pushed me to apply."

Why did you choose to serve?

"I serve so my students do not judge the world by the ten blocks around their house." 

How have you been challenged?

"I have been challenged by having substitutes in my class. Students act different when there are substitutes but CM's are a constant in the classroom. Therefore, substitutes look to CM's to maintain order in the class. Sometimes this goes well and other times not so well. I've struggled to keep the classroom running smoothly. More recently, I have been able to get through complete lessons with my students, even without my partner teacher."

City Year culture is a big part of your service year. What was your favorite culture piece. Why?

"My favorite culture piece are the Founding Stories because they provide me with inspiration on difficult days. My favorite story is the Lighthouse, which reminds me to be humble and always view situations from the perspectives of others."

How have you been personally impacted?

"City Year has a funny way of changing your plans. Before City Year, I had never seriously considered teaching as a career. However, when I got into the school and began knowing these students, everything began to change. I finally was pushed to apply for teaching jobs after we did our school visits in December. I saw deficiencies in second graders that I still see in my students in the ninth grader. I left there thinking that we have to do better for our students." 

How do you know you've made an impact?

"I know that I've impacted my students because I personally have changed. My students and I have come a long way since August. I've watched many of them become more confident in their math abilities. They now say things like 'Ms. Riley, I know this is right. I'm finally confident!' Today, I see students who view themselves as leaders, whereas before they never thought they could be."  

If happiness was the national currency, what kind of job would make you rich?

"Ambassador or Professor of Political Science"


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