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Celebrating Women’s History Month!

March is an extra special month here at City Year – not only do we get to celebrate AmeriCorps Member Appreciation Month, but also Women’s History Month! In recognition of our outstanding women AmeriCorps members, we interviewed Jasmine Rigueur and Gabi Saladino. Both shared their stories of what brought them to City Year Greater Boston and how it feels to be a role model for the youth in our community.

Jasmine Rigueur

City Year AmeriCorps member serving with the Advent International team at the Mather Elementary School 

AmeriCorps member Jasmine Rigueur has always dreamed of being a high school teacher – and that passion fueled her decision to do a year of service with City Year Greater Boston. A few years ago, Jasmine’s younger sister worked with a student success coach in her own classroom, sharing stories with Jasmine about how much she loved her City Year team member. This inspired Jasmine to pursue her own journey with City Year, wanting to be that person for another student, the way someone else was for her sister.

Serving at the Mather School in Dorchester, Jasmine works with 4th grade students on ST math, science and spends time with them during recess playing basketball, soccer, or tag. She loves starting the day with the morning circle, where she gets to check in with all the students before they start their days. During the week, she most looks forward to ‘Fun Friday’s” with her students. “It’s so great to see them working on their social skills and breaking out of their shells,” she said.

For Jasmine, City Year is about making a positive difference in the lives of students and being there to support them through all the ups and downs. “For you, it’s just one year of service, but for the students, it’s a lifetime of impact,” she shared.

“For you, it’s just one year of service, but for the students, it’s a lifetime of impact.”

In honor of Women’s History Month, Jasmine reflected on her role as a Black, female leader and role model for her students. She treasures her bond with the other young, Black students, knowing they feel comfortable with her and are able to relate, when they sometimes don’t get the same interactions with other teachers. She is someone who genuinely wants to help, understand and support all of her students, but especially the young girls who come to her for advice.

Her leadership is heavily influenced by her grandmothers – one who emigrated from Haiti and the other who moved from down south to up north – both uprooting their families to live in Boston and leaving what they’re used to. She respects how much they gave to their children (and now grandchildren) and are always there to celebrate their accomplishments.

After Jasmine finishes school at Bunker Hill Community College, she aspires to become a high school teacher, specifically at East Boston High School, where she grew up.

 

Gabi, furthest on the right, poses with her teammates.

Gabi Saladino

City Year AmeriCorps member serving with the Liberty Mutual team at Charlestown High School

First stop, City Year Greater Boston – next stop, medical school! Upon her 2023 graduation from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Neuroscience and Behavior, AmeriCorps member Gabi Saladino wanted to take a gap year before diving back into more school full-time. During her senior year, Gabi volunteered at The David School, a nonprofit educational institution in David, Kentucky, serving students who needed a more individualized approach to learning. This experience helped her discover a passion for working with high school students and led her to pursue her next chapter with City Year.

Serving 9th grade biology and 10th grade physics students, when Gabi’s not in the classroom helping with reading comprehension, experiments, or science problems, she can be found in the lunchroom painting or playing games with the students. “A lot of these kids have so many responsibilities at home, so it’s nice to see them have fun and just be kids during this time,” she shared.

“This position is so special, because you get to be a role model and a mentor, not an authority figure the kids don’t feel comfortable with.”

During her time with City Year, Gabi has grown to love the community she serves in and the opportunity to make a one-of-a-kind impact on the kids she works with. “This position is so special, because you get to be a role model and a mentor, not an authority figure the kids don’t feel comfortable with.” City Year has helped her learn more about herself as a leader and how to be a better ally.

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, Gabi reflects on her role as a young, female leader in this space. She believes it is important to set high expectations for her students because she knows they can fill them, but even if they make mistakes, she’ll always be there to support and nurture them. She teaches the young girls that she works with to not be discouraged by rejection. “Making mistakes does not define the woman that they are,” she said.

Her leadership style stems from the influential women in her life, like her mom, who taught her to always lead by example; and her Impact Manager Briana, who reminds her to never compare herself to others or shrink herself just because others are in the room.

So what’s next for Gabi? She’ll be sticking around with City Year for a second year as Team Leader and will be applying to medical school for the Fall of 2025 in hopes of finding a career in the public health sector that combines medical care and policy.

We’re so proud to share Gabi and Jasmine’s empowering stories. It is inspiring to hear about the incredible women who influenced their leadership styles, as well as gotten a glimpse into why City Year is so special to them. We celebrate you and thank you for the difference you make in your students lives every single day.

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