Why are you doing a year of service?
I decided to do a year of service after my freshmen year of college when I realized that I was not one hundred percent sure about what I wanted to major in. So instead of taking out large students loans and pursuing a degree I wasn’t certain about, I chose City Year because it provided an educational award, scholarships, and – most important – a chance to discover what I was truly passionate about. In addition, my brother served in San Jose in 2011 and the positive impact it had on him and the friendships he made during his City Year was something I wanted to experience.

Why are you in Sacramento?
I applied to serve where the need was greatest and was fortunate to get placed in Sacramento. It was a big step for me at 19 years old, moving away from everything familiar back home in Michigan, but I feel my year at Arizona State University helped make the transition easy. I chose to serve where most needed because I knew kids need support everywhere and I was sure I’d be placed wherever I was meant to be. Needless to say I have been loving it out here on the West Coast!

What am I interested in doing after City Year?
After I complete my City Year, I will hopefully have figured out what I want to study (I am currently thinking about human resources) and I plan to go back to school somewhere in Michigan, which would be the most financially efficient. I definitely plan on studying abroad for at least one semester during my junior or senior year.

What keeps you energized to work with students?
What I enjoy most about working with young kids is that it’s never the same thing two days in a row. I constantly find myself in new and different situations and scenarios with the students I work with. While I am here to teach and support them, they are without a doubt teaching me a lot as well. I never find myself bored, whether it’s talking to one of my third graders about his love for Nutella on bacon or seeing the reaction from another student after she finally understands the concept that, yes, everything multiplied by zero is in fact zero, even one million!

How will City Year help you in your long career path?
Without question there is nothing that I have done in my young life that will help prepare me for the future quite like City Year will. It has helped teach me the importance of planning and time management, and that no matter how good you think you are at improvising and going with the flow, a plan is extremely helpful! City Year is a test of perseverance, patience, professionalism and your ability to work with a team. And how to survive on an extremely tight budget – the stipend life grind is real! After only a few months of service, I can already see the trajectory of a transformative year for myself. It has taught me that I will never have all the answers, and having the courage to reach out for support is the foundation of what it truly means to be dedicated.

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