Introduction by Ryan Smith, AmeriCorps member 

Every day we dedicate countless hours a day to ensure we embrace our students with love and support. Throughout the classroom, socially, emotionally and academically, it is our mission to be there for them as much as possible. Being the adult, we have encountered experiences that can better help guide our students to the right path. However, even with us being the adults, these students teach us new things every single day. We serve them to hopefully enrich their lives, and they serve us unconsciously in return by instilling our core values. Through the struggles and self-doubt, it is our job to bring forth joy and confidence in our students. Here is a story from one of our hard-working AmeriCorps members, describing the progression in her Starfish student: 

"Melanie is one of our very spirited fifth grade students. In the beginning of the year, Melanie would get upset with herself often while completing school work. She felt especially frustrated with math work. She struggled and gave up on herself quickly.  Despite her challenges, Melanie has always had an undeniable. vibrant energy. She is enthusiastic about school and is a very involved student in the classroom, recess, Extended Learning Time, Playworks activities and of course, power greeting with City Year.   

Her spirit and dedication to school have helped her grow this year. Working closely with her in class and during afterschool tutoring sessions, I have seen her self-confidence rise. After each individualized lesson plan, I watch her self-efficacy also grow and she is now more eager to raise her hand in class, to share out an answer or volunteer to help a fellow student. We all look forward to watching Melanie continue to grow and gain the skills that she needs to be a successful student this year and beyond. " 

-Valerie Acker, AmeriCorps member 

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For more #makebetterhappen inspiration, please check out:

fired up for 2017

New year, same spirit, discipline, purpose, and pride!




Ms. Fortier: "It is important for our students to have these great role models that never give up"

Partner teacher of seven years, Ms. Fortier of Gompers Middle School is passionate about students (and collaboration). 

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