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Mina Raj

Hometown: Elmira, NY

School Team: Roosevelt Middle School of the Arts

Why I serve: I serve to bring love and joy into the lives of young people, especially those who have been overlooked or underestimated. I believe that the best way to remind students that they are valued is to show up for them each day with their best interests at heart. 

A student who impacted my service: Aniya*, who at the beginning of the school year preferred not to participate or try her hardest in class and experienced a lot of self-doubt. Throughout the year I saw her confidence grow and she blossomed academically and socially. She became an active leader in the classroom and even had a solo in the spring musical. It was so rewarding to watch her learn that she could succeed at anything she put her mind to.

Favorite City Year value: Service to a Cause Greater Than Self

La'Daja Miller

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI

School Team: Dr. George Washington Carver Academy of Mathematics & Science 

Why I serve: There are so many voiceless black and brown youth within the schools that we serve and beyond. I serve because my job is not yet complete and there is still so much work to be done. 

A student who impacted my service: My seventh grade student who is the best person on this planet aside from my mother. She challenged me in a completely different way and I'll always appreciate her for that.

Favorite City Year value: Empathy

Ysaye Sigh

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI 

School Team: Barack Obama School of Career and Technical Education

Why I serve: I serve for the students that look and grew up in an environment like mine. Students need to see people of color in their school that believe in them and truly love, respect and care for who they are as human beings.

A student who impacted my service: Sierra* changed my whole outlook on how to be patient and love. She helped me through so many things this year. She improved not only mentally but academically! I can't wait to see what she is going to do and become in the future.

Favorite City Year value: Social Justice for All

*Names changed to protect privacy of students

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