All City Year AmeriCorps members have stories of why they care about students’ success. I’d like to share my story of why I decided to return for a second year of service at Denny International Middle School.

Initially, I came to City Year to pursue an academic interest in growth mindset education. I was interested in the correlation between poverty and a fixed academic mindset. I grew up in a community that looked a lot like the communities we serve. I was a student who struggled with a fixed mindset, who shied away from challenges because I was terrified to fail. During my service year I wanted to become an active promoter of growth mindset. I wanted students like me to embrace failure as a step toward mastery.

And while I found resources and answers to many of academic questions, I came back this year because of the relationships I built with students and the love I felt from the City Year community. I came back for the seventh grade teachers who showed me the real meaning of grit. I came back for students like Adrian who I spent over 2,000 minutes tutoring last year – and who passed his state math test for the first time in middle school!

Every day that I put on this red jacket, I am filled up with the love of an entire community and the most sacred trust to take care of their students. For me, this uniform symbolizes the power of telling a student like Adrian, “You haven’t mastered this yet. You will.”

             City Year Jacket

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