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Miami to Memphis: a global educator

Name: Ireney Duval

Hometown: Miami, FL

Age: 24

Alma mater: Florida State University

Major/minor(s): B. S. in Psychology, Minor in Japanese Language, Certificate in Leadership Studies

Why I serve: I chose to serve with City Year because I’ve always wanted to work with kids, but I wasn’t sure in what capacity. This program is a great opportunity for me to see the needs of students, teachers, administrators, and the school district. It is helping me determine my career plans while also developing the skills necessary for me to become an effective leader.

Another reason I chose City Year is because I really wanted to work with an organization whose values closely align with my own. Some of the values City Year embodies that resonate with me are Belief in the Power of Young People, Empathy, and Social Justice For All. There is a need for change in America’s educational policies that intersects with socioeconomic status and race, and I am glad to serve with an organization that strives to be a part of that difference.

My impact: The power of my impact so far ultimately lies with my students and partner teacher. I can say that every day I have students who come and hug me first thing in the morning. When I walk into the cafeteria, what starts off as a conversation with one student magically becomes seven! We are four months into the school year, at a brand new partnership, in a city that has never had City Year before, and our students have shown respect and openness.

Plans after City Year: My current life goal for my time after City Year is to spend at least two to three years teaching English abroad in Japan. I’ve fallen in love with Japan and am eager to return, but it’ll be with a heavy heart because my students here in Memphis will forever be in my heart.

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