Every year, thousands of City Year AmeriCorps members across the nation dedicate a year of their lives to serve the schools and communities that need it most. Many of these AmeriCorps members will return to serve for a second year because they want to continue to inspire and guide their students to achieve academic success.
Abraham and Teresa are doing just that. Read on to find out what service means to them and what drives them in their mission to serve the students of Los Angeles, this year and beyond.
Senior AmeriCorps Member and Team Leader, Locke College Preparatory Academy
College attended: Whittier College
Service means being able to help those students who may need extra support or guidance. I see a piece of myself in every student I serve and want them all to realize they have the potential to do amazing things, regardless of their circumstances. Serving the beautiful community of Watts has given me the opportunity to work alongside teachers, staff, and administration to ensure that these students are given the opportunity to succeed and fulfill their potential.
As someone who attended schools in LAUSD from kindergarten through 12th grade, I understand the challenges that come with having a lack of access to resources and how that can affect a student’s desire to learn. I serve with City Year Los Angeles because I want to give back to the community that gave so much to me and hopefully inspire the students I serve to do the same.
Senior AmeriCorps Member and Team Leader, 107th Street Elementary School
College attended: University of California, Los Angeles
What Service Means to Me: There is a word in Japanese - the language of my ancestors - which cannot be found in the English language: ikigai. Ikigai translates to your reason for being; the thing that gets you up in the morning. Through service at 107th Street Elementary School, I have found ikigai because every day I get to stand at the gates of the school and shout "P-O-W-E-R" into a community that needs empowerment and encouragement.
This drives me to seek to interrupt any cycles of negativity and instead help my scholars find their voices - their worth - and uncover their beautiful and powerful dreams. This is why I show up to serve: to chip away at society’s constructs of oppression, to help our scholars grow flowers from life’s injustices - letting them blossom beautifully, powerfully, quietly - any way that lets them cultivate their best self.
VOICES FROM THE FIELD: