be_ixf;ym_202407 d_24; ct_50 YES! I want to make a difference TODAY!

Building the future by going back

If someone were to ask me what one thing is that I love about City Year, it would be that it gives me the opportunity to be the person that I needed when I was younger, especially in the school setting. I remember when I got this position, I had spoken to my brother and told him how ironic it was that I had gone throughout college excited to be done with school, only to find myself back in the 3rd grade after graduating from Michigan State. His response was “you missed school”. I didn’t realize how true that was until I got to walk the halls of Burns Elementary-Middle School.

Within a week of school starting back up for students, I started to feel nostalgia kick in. The sounds of laughter in the halls and lockers opening and closing were just the tip of the iceberg. Whenever I focused on a student or staff member doing something in the school, a memory of my own played in my head. The girl that gradually started to talk more in class reminded me of my own journey to become confident in a new space. The boy putting his head down when given a confusing math problem made me think of how I used to feel defeated and discouraged. The patience of the teacher reminded me of the first time I felt heard and seen by a teacher. So many different flashbacks have occurred and reminded me that I’m in a position to inspire students to be playful, become confident and have patience.

City Year is more than volunteer work; it’s an opportunity to help build the future using the lessons from my past and City Year’s present mission.

Written by Mi’Ele Booker, City Year AmeriCorps member at Burns Elementary-Middle School

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