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“I was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pa. I grew up with three siblings and had friends outside of school.

We did things many kids do, like playing stickball in our neighborhood schoolyard. We loved spending time in the woods and creating secret hideouts out of abandoned and recycled items. 

We bought cans of soda and were adventurous. We created and lived in the vivid worlds of our imagination.

I also cared about learning and was an avid reader growing up and still am to this very day. My school friends encouraged me to take chances and believed I was an intelligent individual.

But, my academic experience from middle through high school was a challenging time for me. I was a student who didn’t have the resources I felt I needed to succeed.

I felt constantly frustrated being in the classroom. My 6th-grade teacher was out several days throughout the school year.

It happened so often my classmates and I got used to structureless days with a substitute teacher falling asleep at their desk. I would lay my head down on my own desk, annoyed by another worksheet handed out by someone I just met that day.

I often see my own struggles in the students I serve during the day. I know my students are excited about learning but can have a difficult time without having the resources they need in the classroom.

I confidently think children enjoy learning. If it is not in the classroom, a child can learn from their environment, real or imaginary. I hear my students ask a lot of questions sparking curiosity and critical thinking skills. I love watching them bring comic books and board games to life.  

Students need the support of their peers and adults. “Belief in the power of young people” is an essential value of City Year.

I graduated from college last May with a Bachelor’s in English. I didn’t always believe in myself, but my teachers and friends always did.

I decided to serve because I believe I have something to offer to my students. They need someone to believe in them. I see teachers, school staff and my fellow corps members exemplify the ability to believe in and actively work for the success of their students.

I want my students to have options and support in their academic success. In ten years, I am optimistic they will grow into strong leaders and continue the path of progress.” – Richard MacTough, City Year Tulsa AmeriCorps Member

Everyone has their own unique experiences with education and learning drawn from times when they may have struggled or excelled in school themselves. But more importantly, we believe that everyone serving with City Year has something to offer, and many times its these past experiences that motivate and aid in our work with our students.

If you feel like you have something to offer #Tulsa’s students to help them learn, grown and succeed, apply to serve with City Year next school year at #makebetterhappen

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