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Shontrice Cross

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI

School Team: South Division High School

Why I serve: Our students deserve advocates in the school who know what they are going through and who they know are going to speak up for them.

A student who impacted my service: Miranda,* because I saw a lot of myself in her during my corps year. Even in a rowdy class, she stood out, because she made sure she was always paying attention. You would never know what she was going through because she was always a light in the class and was always cracking jokes.

Favorite City Year value: Students First, Collaboration Always

Kalyn Gackowski

Hometown: Kenosha, WI

School Team: Bay View High School

Why I serve: I wish to pay forward the impact educators had on my life to other young people since I know from personal experience the effect one positive person can have on an individual's life. 

A student who impacted my service: Last year, I had a student named Nate* who was full of curiosity and potential. As the year went on, his motivation slipped, he was not making the best decisions, and he was becoming less respectful to other teachers. We had built rapport, always had open communication and practiced social-emotional learning which was effective because by the end of the year, he worked hard and was becoming dedicated to school again. I was so proud of him when he voluntarily removed himself from a group of peers who were his primary distraction, grabbed the day's assignment, handed it out to everyone who didn't have one and proceeded to work diligently. His development and smile brightened my service and impacted my life.

Favorite City Year value: Students First, Collaboration Always

Anna Mani

Hometown: Sheboygan, WI

School Team: Casimir Pulaski High School

Why I serve: I serve to enforce positive self-talk. A lot of times we can say very unkind things to ourselves. My goal is to turn that around starting with young people. I want to help them understand how it can gradually change and shape our brains differently. 

A student who impacted my service: An 8th-grade student named Lex*, who had a bold personality and was not afraid to speak her mind. We did not always see eye to eye, but because of that, we developed a deeper connection towards the end of the year. I think and hope we have changed each other for the better.

Favorite City Year value: Inclusivity

*Names changed to protect privacy of students 

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