Written by Hannah Evans, AmeriCorps Member serving on the Entergy Louisiana Team at Broadmoor Middle School

With this past MLK Day so recently having come and gone, I’ve felt more inspired than ever to make it clear to my students that having dreams is awesome! More importantly, I’ve worked towards the understanding that literally any dream is obtainable with the right mindset and execution. I want my students to know that they have the right to have a dream, and that the key to their success lies within a solid education. Creating a strong conjunction between a student’s dream of becoming a lawyer, and the significance of completing the math problem in front of them can be a challenge. These “big picture” thoughts are messy and abstract, and provide little to no instant gratification. However, these are also the same concepts that instill motivation in students when they come to truly understand the connection between the two. It is vital that we help these middle school students understand that the work they complete each day will eventually translate into a high school diploma, and therefore contribute to their bright futures.

As not only interventionists and tutors, City Year AmeriCorps members mentor students in whatever challenge they face on some idle Tuesday. An organization that’s core values incorporate idealism and spirit, City Year makes it pretty easy to not only inspire our students, but feel inspired ourselves. The power of positivity isn’t exactly innate within my students, as it isn’t in most kids. It’s something that anyone at any age can struggle with, let alone temperamental preteens. While in the moment, it can feel like getting down on yourself is the only option that numerous failed attempts have left for you. It’s frustrating, yes. Should it stop us from continuing to try? No. Will it stop us from continuing to try? Not a chance. I serve to be that voice.

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