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Idealism in action: Jesus and Lucie’s story


Meet Lucie and Jesus.

Lucie is a City Year AmeriCorps member serving here in Kansas City. She is a full-time tutor and mentor to the fourth-grade students at KIPP: Endeavor Academy. Lucie moved here all the way from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to do this year of service. She has committed this year in schools to combating systemic gaps in education. The way she does this is by being an advocate for her students, providing support to them with individualized tutoring, helping them work through their emotions in a healthy way and giving them the positive support they need to be successful.

“It allowed him to have a voice; it allowed him to see that he could participate fully in class” -Ms. Keyser, fourth-grade teacher at KIPP.

That ‘it’ the teacher mentioned in the video is Miss Lucie’s tutoring support. Miss Lucie met her student, Jesus, in the fall of 2019. Jesus had some room to grow when it came to reading and engaging with his peers; he would regularly act out or just shut down when it came to certain in-class activities. Miss Lucie saw right away that he had a big personality that maybe just needed a little extra attention at times. She worked alongside Ms. Keyser, Jesus’ primary teacher, to develop a plan for Lucie to have some regular one-on-one time with him every day.

What started out as conversations about their favorite animals (his = monkeys, hers = cats), grew into a bond that makes them both almost, giddy. When talking about Jesus, Miss Lucie is all smiles and noted how he is “an incredible kid with a lot of intuition and endless possibilities to succeed.” Similarly, Jesus’ favorite part about Miss Lucie is her cowgirl accent while reading and her funny personality.

This video is a highlight – a one in 66 example – of the work that all of our 66 City Year AmeriCorps members do with their students here in Kansas City. Jesus has the potential to do well and get caught up to his peers, and Miss Lucie is there to be his support and cheerleader along the way. Finishing out this school year, Jesus is more on track than he was eight months ago, and Lucie is taking her experiences as a tutor and mentor to develop her own goals that include going to college and starting a career in youth outreach (plus, getting a few more cats and learning more songs on her instruments).

The relationship between a student and a City Year AmeriCorps member can only be defined by the word growth. Neither of them can go through this experience without changing themselves for the better. Lucie and Jesus are on the rise; watch out, world!

This video was produced by Stellar Image Studios in honor of City Year Kansas City’s Day of Idealism, a daylong celebration of students, AmeriCorps members and Kansas City locals on April 29th.

Apply to City Year

One thing you can count on at this uncertain time: City Year AmeriCorps members will be there, for our students and our schools. If you are a young adult ages 17-25 or know someone who is, please consider applying to serve with us for the upcoming school year.

Make a donation

Ensuring that all students have access to the relationships and resources they need to thrive is the work of all of us. We believe that the holistic supports City Year AmeriCorps members provide will be in even greater demand when schools resume after the pandemic.

City Year AmeriCorps members will not only help to mitigate the learning loss experienced by students, but also help to restore their sense of security, confidence and belonging—all essential elements to learning and development.

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