By Imantha Ambrose AmeriCorps member, Belmont High School

George Shafer is a 9th grade English teacher at Belmont High School. He’s the kind of teacher who makes everyone feel at home in his classroom. He breaks all awkward silences, makes sure his students feel safe and comfortable, and appreciates the role of an AmeriCorps member in the classroom. This is Mr. Shafer's fourth year working with AmeriCorps members in the classroom and he truly believes in the power of young people.

Q: How does having a City Year mentor in a student's life make a difference?

A: It makes a positive difference by strengthening adult role model relationships. It allows students to connect with someone who is on their side -- someone who cares about them and someone who wants the best for them.

Q: How do teachers and City Year Americorps members collaborate in the classroom?

A: Having City Year AmeriCorps members in a classroom reduces the adult-to-student ratio and allows for more personalization of instruction. City Year’s “push-in” and “pull-out” supports provide the essential differentiation and individualization required for student success and allows students to establish necessary work ethic skills necessary for college preparedness and career readiness.

Q: What is your favorite thing about City Year?

A: Having more adults in the classroom helping kids. I also like the spunkiness, enthusiasm and the friendly collaborative demeanor of the AmeriCorps members.

Q: How does having City Year on the school campus affect the school environment?

A: The yellow jackets clearly identify these essential Americorps members as helpful, flexible and supportive adults on campus that are helping build relationships with kids so they feel more safe and secure in the academic environment. This helps to provide a more positive high school experience.

Q: What message would you like to leave for the team?

A: The City Year team is a welcome and positive addition to any inner-city campus. We appreciate you and thank you for your service!

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