As a Team Leader at City Year Sacramento, these eight idealists will help guide their teams of AmeriCorps members through their year of service working with students and will support their Program Managers to help promote success at their schools. With the school year just around the corner and corps members soon to arrive, City Year wanted to highlight these incredible individuals who are serving a second year as an AmeriCorps member in the Sacramento community. Their passion for education will help them be the leaders that inspire their teams to do the greatest things in the partner schools City Year serves.
Name: CJ Crawley
Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico
School School Team: Oak Ridge Elementary
Why I serve: I serve because I believe all children deserve a quality education, regardless of zip code.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why: I would travel back to home in New Mexico. The culture, the people, and the food make me miss it every single day and I would always travel back there in a heartbeat.
Name: Tolani King
Hometown: Oakland, CA
School School Team: Father Keith B. Kenny K-8
Why I Serve: I serve because I want to help students receive the opportunities they need to accomplish their goals.
Favorite grade in school and why: My favorite grade in school would be 6th grade. Although it was a time when I was dealing with so many life changes (mother passing away), it felt really good to know that I had teachers who were there not only to support me, but make sure that I was doing okay mentally. My teachers showed me empathy which made it a really positive year for me.
Name: Evelyn Lopez
Hometown: Colton, California
School Team: Fern Bacon Middle school
Why I Serve: I serve to enrich, inspire, and educate the young minds of tomorrow because their zip code does not determine nor limit their future.
Fun Fact: I am deadly afraid of heights, but I recently went skydiving and it was one of the best adventures!
Name: Eva Loredo
Hometown: Camarillo, California
School Team: Rosa Parks K-8
Why I Serve:Even under the most volatile and disheartening times I do not cease thinking that change is possible―believe it and achieve it. It is through my passion and perseverance that I proudly serve to support, engage, and empower all whom I encounter towards their limitless potential.
Favorite CY value and why: Currently my go-to value would have to be Empathy. In our current solution-seeking world, many neglect, under-utilize, or entirely resist their most valuable and most primitive tool―empathy. If we all took steps to being better empaths everything from the common to the complex could be better understood and worked on harmoniously.
Name: Alexa Patsalis
Hometown: Novi, Michigan
School Team: Rosa Parks K-8
Why I Serve: I serve because my freedom and opportunities for achievement are intrinsically linked with my students. I serve because we, as a country, cannot claim to be on the forefront of innovation and opportunity when we spend more money per prisoner than we do per student. I serve to amplify my students' voices because they have stories that need to be heard. With my privilege as a white woman, also comes a responsibility to use that privilege to make sure that my students aren't forgotten about or vilified.
Favorite grade in school and why: 4th Grade -- it wasn't until the summer before 4th grade that I learned to read. Something finally clicked in my brain, and reading became not only possible but one of my passions. It was during my 4th grade year that I learned to see myself as able to achieve academically. And, school went from a dreaded activity to something that I looked forward to everyday.
Name: Jondell Taylor
Hometown: Brunswick, GA
School Team: Leataata Floyd Elementary School
Why I Serve: I serve because I want my students to know that they have someone on their side who believes in them and who wants the best for them. I serve because I want my students to find the power that they have within.
Favorite CY value and why: My favorite City Year value is Belief in the Power of Young People because young people are the future.
Name: Derek Song
Hometown: Rocklin, CA
School Team: Fern Bacon Middle School
Why I Serve: Hoping to retain students in grade school and increase their access to higher education.
Favorite CY value and why : Social Justice for All! In our ever increasingly diverse society today, it is absolutely crucial for everyone to live in a safe and brave environment, where we can receive equitable resources to excel in all directions.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why: China because I haven't visited my grandparents in 5 years.
Name: Zee Velazquez
Hometown: San Francisco Bay Area
School Team : St. HOPE Public Schools
Why I Serve: I serve because our education is broken. I serve because all children deserve access to an equitable education. I serve because I wish someone had believed in my classmates the way I believe in our students.
Favorite CY value and why: My favorite City Year Value is "Service to a Cause Greater than Self" because it really embodies the fact that our work goes way beyond personal satisfaction. Serving does make us feel good about ourselves, but it is also hard and yet corps members keep coming back. "Service to a Cause Greater than Self" to me says that we are committed to making a difference in the world that we push aside our own needs for something we deem more important.
Fun Fact: In my family I'm known as the "run away child" because as a kid I would wander outside and get lost for really long periods of time.