This piece is written by City Year Washington, DC corps member Tayler Stuger. It appeared in the February 2014 national AmeriCorps Alumni Newsletter.
By Tayler Stuger
Last year I served as a City Year AmeriCorps member at DC Scholars Stanton Elementary School in Southeast Washington, DC. In my role, I tutored and mentored the students at Stanton, and worked with teachers and administrators to help turn around one of the District’s lowest performing schools. I’m proud to be part of Stanton’s turnaround success story.
This year I lead a team of 18 City Year AmeriCorps members, all serving through the School Turnaround AmeriCorps grant. I ensure my fellow AmeriCorps members are well prepared to carry out math, literacy and behavior interventions for Stanton students.
My City Year AmeriCorps experience has developed me into a strong leader, helped me build relationships through a network of fellow AmeriCorps alumni, and shaped me into a more service-conscious individual.
Another part of the Stanton success is that seven City Year alumni were inspired by their AmeriCorps experience and went on to be hired as staff at the school. Their commitment and contribution has been a key factor in the rise in academic performance among Stanton students. The City Year alumni on staff and the current AmeriCorps member team connect with and support each other, through shared knowledge of the school, students and interventions, co-facilitating afterschool programs, and building a positive school environment.
Gabby Fish, City Year AmeriCorps Alum and Stanton Elementary School teacher recently said: “As a direct result of my two years of service with City Year, I am now teaching 4th grade special education at the same school that I served. While serving, I learned the value of community and collaboration, servant leadership, and perseverance.”
Next year, I will be serving as a Peace Corps volunteer. I have always known that I needed to be doing meaningful and fulfilling work, and it is through my passion for service, that I finally found my calling.
Tayler Stuger is 23 years old from Springfield, VA.