By Njeri Jackson, AmeriCorps member serving at Clarke Street School

Kaili Gilbert may be the youngest of our City Year Milwaukee Clarke Street school team, but she is the oldest of the Gilbert family back in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is an older sister to five siblings, and daughter to an Army Reserves Specialist veteran and a dedicated, southern-cooking mother. After being inspired by many committed teachers during her junior year of college she decided to pursue a career in education.

Currently, Kaili serves in the 6th grade classroom here at Clarke Street School. The relationship between her and one of her scholars has been inspirational to her throughout her year of service. Fondly, she says, “It reminds me of my younger brother and our relationship back home.” His personality type, is what pushes her to be a support to him. As their mentor-mentee relationship has grown, so has her young scholar's test scores, as he is on both of her English language arts and math focus lists. Along with increased test scores, behavior in class has also been significantly improving. Reflecting on an awesome week, his words were, “Ms. Kaili, I’ve had a ’City Year’ excellent week!” Though typically meek about his excellence, he often shares with Ms. Kaili his dream to go to Ohio State University as a student-athlete to play basketball. Kaili’s love and logic approach will surely support his dreams and help mold him into the prosperous man we all know he can be!

The diverse personality types and learning styles amongst our students are what motivates our youngest corps member here at Clarke Street School to continue pursuing her career in education. Kaili is equipped will all of the tools necessary to bring success to students. Her heart and integrity are vital parts to her commitment to all scholars of Clarke Street School. She hopes to continue serving with City Year as a Team Leader in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There she plans to finish her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education at Oklahoma State University. (GO POKES!) Following graduation, she plans to serve with another AmeriCorps program, Urban Teachers, and receive her Masters Degree in Urban Education. This dedicated corps member’s overall goal is to make a difference wherever it’s needed because she finds much assurance in the statement, “students first, collaboration always!”

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