be_ixf;ym_202312 d_03; ct_50 YES! I want to make a difference TODAY!

Dedicating My City Year Red Jacket to the Shining Stars of Jacksonville Elementary

I dedicated my City Year Red jacket to the kids I work with at Jacksonville Elementary. These wonderful children have made me confident within my service year, considering this is my first year working as an AmeriCorps member. If you had known me when I began this journey, I was not confident in my ability to step into this career path. When I learned that the job involved building relationships with my team, teachers, and students and what I needed to do as a student success coach, I thought I might have signed up for more than I could handle.

Since week 1, they have shown me that I am doing a great job. For example, when I arrive at morning duty at 7:00 a.m., it brings me so much joy seeing those smiling faces and the kids greeting me as “Mr. Montrez.” I have so much heartfelt gratitude for these exceptional scholars who have put in so much work since they walked through those doors to 5th grade. They have worked hard, displayed resilience, and demonstrated an unwavering commitment to their studies. They have gained knowledge and valuable life skills to serve as the foundation for their future endeavors.

I’m so excited to witness them move into the next chapter of their academic journey (6th grade). I am striving to impart the following lessons to the scholars this year:

  • Never stop dreaming.
  • Learning is a lifelong journey.
  • Always be kind and empathetic.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail or afraid to start over.
  • Never underestimate the support of your school and mentors.
  • You are the future leaders, innovators, and change-makers who will shape our world for the better.
  • Always shine brightly.

I will always be here for all my scholars. I am incredibly proud of every one of them. Remember the values and lessons they have learned at Jacksonville Elementary. I look forward to congratulating them on their achievements and praying their futures are filled with boundless opportunities and success. They are all remarkable young individuals who have made Jacksonville Elementary a place of learning, growth, and unlimited potential. Every scholar is a shining star. I am just overwhelmed by the qualities that make them unique. Their enthusiasm for learning, asking questions, seeking answers, and thirst for knowledge have encouraged not just me but their teachers to strive for excellence. They can achieve anything they set their minds to. The potential has no bounds, and the world is waiting for more unique talents and perspectives.

I want my 5th graders to embrace change and growth when they move on to 6th grade. A new school is a new challenge, but don’t be afraid to change. With change, we discover our true potential and evolve into the exceptional individuals we are destined to become. Their kindness and empathy have created a warm and welcoming environment for me at Jacksonville, and words can’t even express how thankful I am.

The world is waiting for the brilliance of the scholars at Jacksonville Elementary School. I dedicate my red jacket and service year to working with them as they shine brightly and step into their potential. Thank you for being my little school family.


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