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From student to City Year AmeriCorps member 

Jazmin Larumbe plans to serve a second year to help her students successfully transition back to school.

Jazmin Larumbe is serving her first year as a City Year AmeriCorps member at Jefferson High School in South-Central Los Angeles. However, this is not Jazmin’s first time walking the halls of Jefferson. Jazmin graduated from Jefferson as part of the Class of 2014 and returned to her alma mater to help fill the gap between what students need and what the school is resourced to provide.

City Year had just come to Jefferson when Jazmin was in the 11th grade, and she remembers seeing corps members walking around campus in their signature yellow jackets.

Jazmin and her student share a moment in the hallways of Jefferson High School where Jazmin once walked as a student herself.

When Jazmin thinks back to her own high school experience, she remembers what made the biggest impact on her: “There is nothing like having someone who you know is rooting for you—not just in academics but in everyday life. I see my students for their potential. Each one of my students has inherent greatness, and I want to be that person that makes them conscious of it, just as the positive role models in my high school experience did for me.”

In March, like many Angelenos, Jazmin was faced with a new and unforeseen challenge when schools throughout Los Angeles were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. City Year transitioned from in-school mentoring to providing virtual service to students in the classroom. As with all the other challenges that come with serving, Jazmin has taken this one in stride.

“I’m happy to once again be tutoring my students after a few weeks of navigating the logistics of distance learning. My experience serving students virtually has been positive. I am grateful to continue to be a resource for my students and for our partner teachers. Aside from providing academic support, it’s a great feeling to interact with students and check in with them before helping them with homework.

Jazmin has decided to return to serve at Jefferson with City Year for a second year. COVID-19 has only reinforced her dedication to service. She believes that City Year’s commitment to students is crucial during this time by making sure they feel supported emotionally and academically throughout this experience and when they return to the classroom.

“I plan on serving a second year with City Year to not only to support my students once more but to really show them that the mentor-mentee relationship doesn’t have to end abruptly because of COVID-19. I want to support my students when they go back to school so they have the tools and resources they need to make a successful transition.”

As Jazmin looks ahead to her second year of service she says, “I am looking forward to growing and cultivating the bonds I have created with my students, bonds that allow them the space to feel confident in themselves and in their abilities. I’m excited to see them develop not only academically but as individuals. I’m also optimistic about seeing them bounce back from this very scary time and to be of service to them as much as possible.

Jazmin Larumbe grew up in South-Central Los Angeles and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley.

Are you a recent high school grad or a college student unsure about this fall now that COVID-19 has disrupted everything? Come serve a gap year with City Year—it brings financial, professional and personal benefits and gives you a chance to serve students. Apply here:

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